Planting progress hindered by extensive rainfall

Indiana farmers must make important planting decisions as torrential rains have stalled their ability to plant crops.

“This is one of the worst years I’ve seen in a long time in the fact it continually rains,” Ag Program Assistant with the Rush County Purdue Extension Office Will Schakel said. “I think most people are sticking to their original plan. A few have decided to plant more soy beans than corn. A half mile away it could be different depending on the weather.”

Schakel said he’s heard this could be the slowest planting season ever.

The United States Department of Agriculture released its 2019 Crop Progress Report on Wednesday.

The report indicates only 22 percent of total corn has been planted compared to 94 percent this time last year. The report also shows 11 percent of total soy beans have been planted compared to 85 percent during last year’s planting season.

The full report can be accessed online at

Rainfall totals in Indianapolis have been above average each month of 2019, per the National Weather Service.

Rainfall totals in Rushville are even higher than those in Indianapolis, according to Weather Underground.

In a webinar conducted by Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, Professors of Agricultural Economics James Mintert and Michael Langemeier and Professors in the Department of Agronomy Robert Nielsen and Shaun Casteel provided details regarding insurance coverage for late crop planting.

The last day to plant corn and receive reduced insurance coverage is June 25. Soy beans must be planted by July 15 for reduced coverage.

Corn in Indiana

• Final planting date for full coverage – June 5

• Late Planting Period with reduced coverage – June 6 through June 25

Soybeans in Indiana

• Final Planting Date for full coverage – June 20

• Late Planting Period with reduced coverage – June 21 through July 15

Coverage declines 1 percent per day during the late planting period

• Example: Coverage for corn planted June 10 would be reduced by 5 percent

• 85 percent coverage becomes 80.75 percent coverage (95 percent X 85 percent = 80.75 percent), but you still pay the 85 percent premium

In order to plant amidst rainy conditions, Schakel said farmers should continue to pay attention to the weather, because conditions can change multiple times per day.

“You just kind of go with your gut and do what you think’s right, because you never know what’s going to happen,” Schakel said.

Schakel helps farm 500 acres of local farm land, which includes some of his own land. So far he’s assisted in planting approximately 250 acres of crops.

He estimates he has already planted 80 percent of corn on those 500 acres, but still has a lot of work to do planting soy beans.

Schakel encourages farmers to keep in contact with their seed providers when deciding to transition to growing soy beans, short season corn or a cover crop in the fall. He said widespread flooding in Nebraska and other states has demanded a substantial amount of seeds and a shortage could be possible.

Look for more articles regarding this year’s planting season and torrential rains in future editions of the Rushville Republican.