Corn fields in Goshen and Osceola were partially flattened by winds of up to 68 miles per hour during Monday evening’s storm.
The crops aren’t likely to see permanent damage, said Jeff Burbrink, Purdue Extension educator and coordinator of the local master gardener program. Corn stalks that are bent but not broken are likely to straighten — mostly.
“It will try to pop back up but it will be a pain to harvest,” Burbrink said.
That’s because bent corn stalks don’t snap back into place as soon as the wind stops. They’ll probably bend to a 45-degree angle from the ground, then curve until the top of the stalk grows straight. It’s called “gooseneck” corn, Burbrink said.
It will take twice as long to harvest, Burbrink said, because farmers will only be able to harvest in one direction, following the curve of the corn.
“The problem is finding the row and staying on the row,” he said. “That becomes very difficult at times.”
Moist soil from a rainy spring season likely didn’t hold the crop’s roots in place as well as dry soil would. But Burbrink said average or even above-average rainfall for July could help affected fields recuperate.
“I don’t think the yields would go up any but it would certainly keep them from going lower,” he said.