Monday, September 10, 2018
From Friday evening to late Saturday afternoon, (about 20 hours) we received 8.24 inches (209 mm) of rain. That was amazing to us. We went out to Vincennes for supper Saturday evening, and coming home by way of Old Wheatland Road, we had to turn around when we got to the Old Julian Mine, because of water over the road. Driving to church on Sunday morning, we noticed where Roberson Ditch had been outside its banks, and had flooded IN 550. So, to say the least, local ditches were overflowing, and nearby creek bottom fields were flooded.
This rain event was the remains of Tropical Storm Gordon, and it just seemed to stall out over Indiana, and in particular the White River basin. We are always concerned when a big rain event hits Indianapolis, for the flooding created by that comes to our fields on the east side of Knox County. We watch the National Weather Service hydrologic prediction website page for the Edwardsport reporting station. Flood stage there is 15 feet. Friday evening, we were pleased to read a report of a flood crest at 19.1 feet. Our fields are situated in such a way that we can withstand a 19-foot river with not much damage. But with the continued rain on Saturday, we were pretty sure that the river prediction would be raised. Sure enough, on Saturday night, it was changed to 22 feet, and that was not happy news. Above a 19-foot river the crop damage increases dramatically, and that would practically wipe out the harvest from all our river bottom acres. But, by Sunday morning, the hydrologic prediction was lowered to 19.3 feet, and that was very good news for us. The damage will be much less severe from this flood event. The 19.3 prediction remains today, so we are much more hopeful with that reading.
Our plan was to begin corn harvesting today. Well, with a 8 1/4″ rainfall, that plan has been delayed. My guess it will be about Thursday before the fields will support a combine and grain cart. We really don’t like to work in muddy fields at harvest, for the compaction caused by the machinery traffic damages the soil structure, and the effects of that can last 2-3 years! But we cannot wait for perfect or ideal conditions, now that the corn is ready for us to harvest. Our estimation is that the first soybean harvest is about 10 days to 2 weeks away.
We have held back a trailer load of wheat to be used for our seed for the 2019 crop. It will be taken on Thursday to Crop Tech in Vincennes to be properly cleaned for seed. Then it will go to the Wheatland Nutrien plant ( CPS recently changed to “Nutrien” ) for a coating of fungicide to be applied to the seeds.
Have a good week, everyone.
#harvest18 will soon commence.