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Still a chance for decent crops despite drought

WYATT, Ind. – It seems crazy, now in the midst of a devastating drought, but last summer farmers were praying for rain to stop.

Last year Roger Mochel, Manager at the Frick Services Grain Elevator in Wyatt, was dealing with financial losses and problems associated with fields flooded by rain.  He’s surprised by the drastic difference this season.

“Two different years, two different seasons almost, last year was late planted because it was so wet this year we planted very early, very fast,” Mochel explained.  “We had the table set for a really good crop and the rain shut-off.”

As the growing season approached, Mochel said he and farmers were hopeful at the excellent weather and the prospect of making up for the shortages caused by the late start last year.

“Grain receipts are going to be down this year, how much we don’t know yet,” he described.  “That certainly has an effect on business.”

Still, Mochel said he is still optimistic about this year’s crops.

“The dirt in Madison Township holds water pretty well,” he explained.  “Pollination of corn seems to have gone better than it should’ve given the conditions.”

Mochel pointed out several examples of corn pollinating well, despite many plants having shriveled and dead leaves hanging off of them. 

“If we start getting rains now, there’s a yield out here we can protect, corns and soybeans,” explained Mochel.  “We’re still hopeful we’re going to have a decent crop, but by no means what we thought when we planted it.”

Mochel estimated it will take at least two or three years of planting to make up for the shortages caused by the drought and the late start last year.

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