Photo: Jim Grey (Flickr)
The hot weather and lack of significant rainfall is putting the state’s corn crop in jeopardy. Purdue agricultural experts say if conditions do not improve, Indiana could be looking at one of its worst droughts in 30 years.
Corn production is already down 20 percent. Soybeans have declined 15 percent. Purdue agronomy professor Bob Nielsen says as of July first, only 19 percent of Indiana’s corn crops were rated good to excellent.
A large majority of Hoosier corn is nearing a key stage of development and if there isn’t relief soon, Nielsen says the corn will be at risk.
“I’m fairly certain there will be some disastrous, truly disastrous situations for individual growers,” he says.
Nielsen says while any rain will help, four to six inches over several weeks is really what’s needed.
Austin Pearson works at the Indiana state climate office at Purdue. He says both short and long term outlooks show below average precipitation for the rest of the summer.
“There is always that possibility of getting a tropical storm to come up through Texas and sweep up through the Midwest, so we’re really hoping for that, but as of right now the tropical activity isn’t too impressive right now,” Pearson says.
Nielsen says because soybeans have a different development process than corn, soybeans can hold out longer for rain, but if the drought lasts through August, Indiana’s soybean crops are at risk too.