Indiana farmers see dry growing season start, hope for rain

Indiana farmers hope for precipitation to return despite the cold and wet beginning of spring that's caused planting issues.

According to a May 20 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 88 percent of corn crops and 73 percent of soybeans in Indiana have been planted.

Vigo County farmer Brad Burbrink told the Tribune Star that crops need about an inch of rain within the next 10 days in order to flourish. He said the growing season went quickly from cold weather to temperatures reaching 80 degrees or higher.

"We are getting by without any rain, but in general in our area, an inch of rain would do miracles, even a half-inch would help," Burbrink said. "Without rain, the crop is young enough and small enough that it will not die, but we are really dry. We have only had a half-inch of rain for the month of May, which may be one of driest Mays we have had."

Rain in the next few days means farmers could see the best crop in a while, Burbrink said.

About 60 percent of the state's corn crop emerged by the week of May 20, and 38 percent of the state's soybeans had emerged by that date, according to the USDA report.

Farmers are concerned about a lack of rain in May since June is typically dry, said Vigo County farmer Terry Hayhurst.

"We would like to have rain, but the corn crop is not using high quantities of water right now," he said. "Our soils are clay and are not hurting too bad now, but we are definitely behind normal on rainfall."

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