Field Moisture a Challenge Following Tornado

IMG_5011A weekend tornado in Starke County was reported to have damaged crops slightly, but hail and the added rainfall may begin affecting production even more.

Storms have left fields a bit damp for farmers as standing water has been reported in fields throughout Starke and Pulaski County. Standing water begins to affect roots after a couple of days.

Crop Fertility Specialists General Manager Kevin Wyatt says some fields look better than others.

“Most fields that I’ve looked at will come out of it, but it’s a setback to the maturity, so not any of this is favorable, of course,” says Wyatt.

Weather forecasts have predicted warming temperatures and additional moisture before cooling down a bit over the weekend in Starke and Pulaski County.

Warming air can mean depleted oxygen in the soil, but it can also mean fields dry more quickly.

The EF-1 Tornado reported in western Starke County will likely lead to a crop replant situation according to Wyatt. The USDA reviewed the situation and said a tree was found in a field, but crops were small enough to avoid major damages. The success of replanting, however, can depend on the crops being planted.

“Soybeans are especially resilient planted later, or can be,” says Wyatt. “All they depend on is late summer weather to make their yield. Corn, though, we’re rapidly losing yield potential in this period of June. The ideal planting window closed a month ago.”

Farmers affected will have hail and crop insurance for weather related situations. The policies may have replanting provisions included.

Clean-up has begun for residential land affected by recent storms. Wyatt says weather related events are seen as part of the agricultural process.