Local farmers battle weather

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. -- With the recent storms this week, and near record rainfall in June, farmers of cash crops across the Midwest could potentially see a loss in yield this growing season.

“We've had some challenges this spring for sure with no doubt,” explained Adam Souder, production manager at Wykoff Brothers Farms.

With above normal rainfall this summer, the soybean crop in the Midwest has seen better days.

“When it comes in the consistent form of an inch-and-a-half to two inches every day for seven to 10 days, or every other day, you know the rivers and streams and our tiling system underneath these fields,” Souder said. “They just get backed up to a point where it's saturated and we can't get rid of the water.”

And that can damage a crop beyond repair.

“When a soybean crop gets underwater and it gets 85 to 90 [degrees] out, you can imagine what that does. It really just cooks the plant in that shallow pool of water, and it doesn't last very long at all.”

The young crop is what it's going to affect more, and it can affect this crop that you see hear that is knee-high. It will give it what a lot guys call "wet feet." It will keep the rooting structure a bit more shallow.

With a shallower root system, the soybean plants may not be able to gather the right amount of nitrogen and other nutrients needed for flowering and pods later in the season.

“It can have a long term effect later, you know, say in the late days of August and into September when it's filling these pods that it's set during this period that we're going through kind of right now.”

This soybean crop on the Wykoff Brothers Farm was planted earlier in the season, and the nearly two feet tall soybean plants may make out okay.

“We got lucky. We've got some lighter ground around here. We were in the fields, got it planted well as you can this crop behind us is up and going to survive and do really well. I think with some of the yields that we're probably going to see, we'll probably trend right around that average.”

Meanwhile, the Midwest corn fields have been loving the rain. The stalks are tall and strong, however, this week's storms packed a powerful punch. Look at this field near Plymouth.

For those who were spared this kind of damage, things are looking good.

“From our little ecosystem here in the St. Joseph County area, our things just look excellent to this point.”

In the agriculture business, mother nature plays the biggest role.

“Nature has always outsmarted man for the most part, and it continues to do that today. (:04)

In the latest progress report as of June 30, 70 percent of the soybean crop is in the good or excellent category based on last year.

Seventy-five percent of the corn crop is in the good or excellent category.


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