No, Virginia, this is not West Texas

September 2012


Northeast Indiana looks more like West Texas this summer than America’s heartland. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 70 percent of the state, including a wide swath from around the Kentucky border in the south, north through Fort Wayne and all the way to the Michigan border is in an “extreme or exceptional” drought. Sadly, there is not a county in the state where some degree of drought does not exist.

73 percent of the state’s corn crop, the nation’s most valuable commodity, is in poor or very poor condition. 53 percent of our soybean crop, the second biggest revenue-generating commodity in the state, is in poor or very poor condition as well. Ranchers in the state are quickly running out of options to feed their livestock, as 89 percent of the state’s pastures are in poor or very poor condition as well.

While we’ve been blessed with adequate rainfall for the past month, for the corn crop it’s a case of “too little and too late.” We’re also still at a level of sub-soil moisture that, if it doesn’t improve, will potentially make it difficult to produce a crop in 2013…

Rob Schuman is a corn, soybean and cattle farmer from Churubusco and is the vice president of the Whitley County Farm Bureau.

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