CORY, Ind. (WTHI) – Midwest farmers have been in the fields for harvest for roughly a month and they’re starting to see how bad this season could end up being for them.
Last month, experts said this year’s harvest could be the worst since the 2012 drought. One Wabash Valley farmer says that prediction was off.
Dwight Ludwig grows corn and soybeans in Cory, Indiana. We caught up with Ludwig as he was starting to harvest last month. At that time, he was unsure of what he would find in his fields after a difficult planting season. Now he has a better idea.
“Not even anywhere close to as bad as 2012."
Ludwig says he has found some problem areas but he was pleasantly surprised.
"In those low lying fields, the river bottoms and creek bottoms. There's definitely places where you can see where the water was out and either completely drowned out the crop or just thinned it out quite a bit so we're definitely seeing those areas as we harvest. When we're in the upland areas, it wasn't hurt near as bad."
The delay in planting this spring and summer led to a harvest delay. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 24% of Indiana corn has been harvested. 49% had already been harvested this time last year. The story is the same for soybeans. 30% has been harvested compared to 70% this time last year.
Ludwig says he is close to half done harvesting both his corn and soybean crops and he credits good weather. Areas to the north have been hit with rain this harvest season but skies in the Wabash Valley have stayed mostly clear.
"In this local area we've just really been blessed with some really good weather and have been able to get out there and get a lot of harvest done and things have been going really well so far."
Market prices have remained steady but Ludwig says production will still be down this year. He hopes that is reflected with a bump in prices. The average corn yield for Indiana a up a bushel from last month while soybeans are down a bushel.
Overall, Ludwig says his crops turned out better than expected.
"We do have some places where we had some issues but overall pretty happy with the year we've had and what I was expecting to see when we got here. It's not near as bad as we thought it might be."
Farmers in Illinois are also behind schedule. You can see the USDA crop progress report here.