PIMENTO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Harvest season is nearing for farmers all across the Wabash Valley– and with a string of dry spells in the area, it has had an impact as we head into the fall.
Justin Campbell is the Vice President of J M Campbell Farms in southern Vigo County, where they have around 3,000 acres of farmland filled with corn and soybean crops. Campbell said the dry weather stretches back into 2022.
“It’s been extremely dry this year, we were really dry in June, and last year was a pretty dry year as well, so as you can tell, the rivers are down and low, you got one dry year leading into another, it really hurts things,” he said. “I think it compounds, you have back-to-back dry years, that compounds how much soil moisture you have.”
The dry weather has been strikingly consistent in the past 12 months, according to WTWO meteorologist Dan Reynolds.
“10 of the last 12 months have been below normal on rainfall,” he said. “It’s been a very dry 12 month period and we don’t really see a break in that for the rest of September.”
For Campbell, that has meant giving extra care to their fields to gain what moisture they can– and he also credited their equipment for getting them through the trying times.
“Here in southern Vigo County, there’s not a lot of irrigation, we’re on non-irrigated dryland here. We are proactive in spraying fungicides, and trying to help those plants to respirate and breathe,” he said. “I think it’s a testament to how tough and hearty these hybrids are, nowadays. For the weather that we’ve had the last two years, we’ve had excellent yields.”
Reynolds said hope hope could be on the horizon. While there isn’t certainty yet, some models show October could bring some much-needed precipitation.
“We’re hoping in October, as we get into the start of the fall season. There’s potential, it’s early to say, regarding winter precipitation but it might pick up a little bit and help them then, which that counts for the following spring,” he said.
As we close in on the start of fall, Campbell also reminded drivers to be cautious around farming equipment.
“Everybody in the area is starting to roll here this week, so everyone be mindful of equipment on the roads, and be patient,” he said. “Everyone wants to get home safe.”