July 4th traditionally marks the halfway point of the summer season and this is true of farmers in Hardin County.
Jeff Wahl in his fields out in Dudley Township
As Independence Day approaches, Hardin County farmers are making assessments on how well their crops will fare throughout the rest of the growing season. Many Hardin County farmers have dealt with issues related to weather this year which have caused significant setbacks. However, Jeff Wahl, who has a small farm in Dudley Township said that his fields were able to be planted in spite of the weather that other areas of the county saw this year.
"I waited until the second week of May, the ground was good and dry, everything went really good. We didn't get some of the big goose drowner rains that other people got. They came close by here but we didn't get them. The biggest rain we got here was 7/10th which did come in one hour but we were dry before it and got along ok with that." said Wahl.
According to information from the Hardin County Extension Service, up until June 25, there was a pattern of heavy rains every week or so which has saturated the soil and increased the length of the planting season. Crops that were planted early and have good drainage in the field have done well and are progressing well except for low areas that have been flooded out. These lower areas slowed root growth and therefore delayed the availability of nutrients to the plants.
Soybeans too have seen issues related to the wet spring, and in many cases not producing enough nitrogen and other issues, but the wheat crop, not a large crop in Hardin County is coming along well and should be harvested over the next several weeks. In regards to corn, farmers have had difficulty side-dressing nitrogen into their corn if they did not apply all of their nitrogen pre-plant or a combination of pre-plant and planting. However Wahl says that he was able to get his crops in and side dressed before they got too big.
"We missed the big rains, and I was able to get in and side dress corn when it was about six inches tall. I know there's guys still trying to side dress now where waist high in some places, which is getting too tall to side dress with a tractor so they'll have to hire a high planter to go in and put on more nitrogen on it." said Wahl.
Wahl mentioned that his fields were on track to be harvested on schedule in early to mid October.