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Farmers Are Concerned Too Much Rain Could Damage Crops

Too much rain can cause fungi and disease to grow on certain crops.

Several parts of the state have received three to four more inches of precipitation than normal this year and more than double the rain they received last year.

Photo: Katie (flickr)

Several parts of the state have received three to four more inches of precipitation than normal this year and more than double the rain they received last year.

Some farmers are concerned the soggy conditions being seen in much of Indiana will damage their crops.

Several parts of the state have received three to four more inches of precipitation than normal this year and more than double the rain they received last year.

Flooded fields mean farmers who have not planted all their crops have to wait for the ground to dry, while farmers with seed in the ground are unable to spray crops with pesticides.

Bloomington farmer Joe Peden says he does not think his crops are in danger right now, but the heavy rainfall has been difficult to handle.

“There is a limit to when too much water is too much water, and we’re there now. We’re not in the flood plain so we’re all right, but I think the ground’s going to get soggy, and you know when the ground gets soggy then trees start falling over in the woods and places,” Peden says. “We’re at a saturated point now. We don’t need any more rain.”

Indiana Farm Bureau spokesperson Megan Ritter says while most crops should be able to handle the increased rain, if conditions do not improve smaller crops may be at risk.

“Wet, moist, high humidity weather, a lot of rain can cause funguses and disease in soybeans as well,” Ritter says. “Not as much when we get the corn in the ground, that really can stand quite a bit, but when we get to some of the other crops it can damage the quality.”

Hay production could also be hampered by the wet conditions, as farmers need the grass to be dry in order to get multiple cuts throughout the summer.

Still, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released last week shows Indiana’s crops are in the second best condition in the country. Whether the wet conditions stick around will determine how healthy the crops are at harvest.

Ying Chen Contributed to this report.

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