Despite limited days in the field planting last week Hoosier farmers were able to get more corn and soybean fields planted in the new USDA-NASS crop progress report. So once all of the seed is in the ground, what kind of summer weather will farmers endure? The new National Weather Service forecast is out and it indicates the possibility of a pretty good growing season for the Midwest.
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says, “We’re looking at a summer that may be a bit on the cool side for the Midwest but no strong signal for which way the precipitation patterns are going to go. If recent history has any bearing, if we can get some moisture into the Midwest and keep temperatures down, that certainly bodes well for Midwestern corn and soybeans.”
He says part of the forecast is based on the development of an El Nino weather pattern but for the rest of the country the forecast is a little less optimistic.
“We do expect heat in the west, across the southern tier of the country, and along the east coast,” he said
In the areas there is also not a strong indicator yet about precipitation levels, but it could possibly be a bit dry along the western gulf coast.
“There are some crops in that area including rice and cotton that might be a concern especially if irrigation supplies are limited.”
Rippey says drought probably isn’t something Midwest and Indiana farmers will be faced with this year.
“The way we’re heading here I think all the focus is on that roughly one-third of the country that is in drought, California to the southern Great Plains. Maybe we can chip away a little bit at the eastern edge of that drought, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and so forth, but as you move to the west the summer is of course a dry season. With a Mediterranean climate there is very little moisture that falls say in California between May and September. So that drought is locked in and the whole drought picture this summer really will be focused on I think California and some of the neighboring states as we deal with water supply issues and of course an extended wildfire season.”