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Drought affecting agriculture in northeast Indiana

The drought in Northeast Indiana is starting to make an impact on agriculture in the region
Kathy Knight
/
Photo provided
The drought in Northeast Indiana is starting to make an impact on agriculture in the region

Northeast Indiana’s drought has put farmers in the area on edge.

Greg Kneubuhler is the president of G&K Concepts which is a company that does agronomy work for farmers. He said the next seven days are critical to where this season’s crop yield will land, especially as we approach corn pollination season in July.

“If we don’t get rain leading up to that and into pollination, that can be very damaging to corn,” Kneubuhler said.

The National Weather Service predicted earlier in the week that Northeast Indiana could see minimal rainfall in the coming days, but Kneubuhler said that won’t be enough.

“They’re talking two, three, four, maybe five tenths (of an inch), which will definitely help,” Kneubuhler said. “That could keep us hanging on, but it won’t really cure us from what we need.”

Kneubuhler said farmers need multiple inches of rain to get out of the drought conditions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said a good year’s crop produces 181 bushels of corn or close to 9,000 pounds. Kneubuhler said he doesn’t see a way for this year to yield that kind of a crop, but he said depending on when it starts to rain significantly again will determine how much of the crop farmers can salvage.

If they can get around 170 bushels, that would create a minimal impact on the price of produce at grocery stores.

The National Weather Service could not give a timetable for when the drought will end.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.