Only half of state’s corn has been planted, farmers struggling

Only half of the corn in the state has been planted and this week is critical if they're going to have a successful harvest.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Corn farmers have been praying all month for the heavy rain and cold weather to stop. Roughly, only 50% of the corn in the state has been planted and this week is critical if farmers are going to have a successful harvest.

“When we’re looking at getting corn in the ground for planting season, we’re really kind of looking at May 9th or 10th as the ideal time frame to have corn planted,” explained James Wolff, agriculture and natural resources educator at Purdue Extension. “So we’re a little bit behind that this year. So it’s kind of crunch time to catch up to really get the corn in the ground and planted for a good season.”

Rainfall in Fort Wayne is 4.5 inches above average this year. This spring the rainfall has hit 10.87 inches so far, which is 2.5 inches above average.

Many farmers who’d already planted their corn this year lost the crop to rain. Then, it costs extra money to have to replant the seeds. Often, the farmers settle and just plant soybeans instead of replanting corn.

Egoff Farm Owner Mel Egoff remembers how the poor weather hurt his corn last year.

“Last year when a lot of the crop was planted even what got up, suffered a lot from cold wet weather after the crop was already planted and then out of that a lot of the crop got crusted over and had to be replanted,” he said. “That’s never a good thing when you have to replant.”

He lost money.

“It’s hard to plant a crop when you’re already two or three weeks behind when you should have planted it and the plant that comes later has maturity problems and less great quality,” Egoff said. “So, it’s a financial loss.”

This year, he tried a new strategy.

“What we tried to do on our farm is be a little more patient this year,” he said. “When the weather got fit and the ground got right we started planting beans instead of planting corn. It was still plenty early. But corn, we didn’t plant any early. We started planting four days ago and if things go good we should get finished up tomorrow. This week with the week of weather that we’re having right now we got a good chance to have a good corn crop this year.”

Egoff has been working 18 hours a day to get his nearly 500 acres of corn planted.