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Farmers remain behind schedule due to wet spring

U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show just 6% of Indiana's corn crop was planted as of May 12, which is far below the five-year average.

Posted: May 14, 2019 6:18 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Equipment on Gilbert Farms remains at the ready as owner Greg Gilbert waits on field conditions to improve.

"If you went out there today, even if you could traverse the field, the subsoil is just so saturated that the sidewall compaction is going to drastically reduce your yield,” said Gilbert.

Nationally, USDA statistics show 30% of the corn crop was in the ground by last Sunday. This is significantly lower than the 59% reported last year.

Gilbert has already planted around 150 acres within the past few weeks. But says the wet spring has caused major setbacks.

“Right now, we're on 40 days of delay,” said Gilbert.

April's rainfall total was more than an inch and a half above average for Lafayette May has already seen more than an inch of total rain to date.

According to Silverthorn Farms owner Nate Parks, the rain is also bringing more pests.

"The striped cucumber beetles is one of our really challenging and they're already coming in. So when you have plants that are distressed and under that situation they're just more prone to disease and pest pressure,” said Parks.

Silverthorn grows organic vegetables, many of which are grown in greenhouses. But the rain has still put yields back two to three weeks.

"It's going to be costly. In the $15,000 to $20,000 range at this point of lost sales just because we're not able to get the crops out,” said Parks.

While days have been lost, Gilbert remains hopeful.

"I think we're still okay there. I'm fairly optimistic that we'll still have a good growing season,” said Gilbert.

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