Well, it seemed as though Indiana was starting to dry out, but we knew all along that Thursday during the overnight hours it could change in an instant. And change it did. In the first planting forecast of the season, sponsored by the Indiana Corn and Soybean Checkoffs and First Farmers Bank and Trust, Hoosier Ag Today Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin says drying out those farm fields in the coming days isn’t likely.
“Over the course of the next week to ten days, we don’t see a large-scale push of drying,” he explained. “With the rains that fell this past week, especially Thursday into Friday, we’ve really saturated soils again. We have only about a day’s worth of dry weather before another round of rain comes in to start this week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Then we put together a couple of dry days, but there’s a little bit of a hiccup as we head into this weekend.”
Moisture chances as we close out the week only amount to a quarter of an inch, impacting maybe 60 percent of the state. But Martin says there’s the hiccup, just enough moisture that dry down is severely impeded.
“Anytime you bring a little bit more moisture in, you aren’t drying down, so that interrupts a drying stretch that tries to start on Thursday and go through Friday. We’ll get back to dry weather for next Sunday and Monday, but then we gear up for more rain right as we get ready to flip the switch from April into May. I’m not sure we have enough drying weather in here to make significant inroads progress.”
Warming temperatures could help with dry down, and most of the next ten days Indiana will be near normal, maybe above normal. Martin cautions the extended forecast tells the full story.
“We’ve been talking all along about concern about a late-season frost,” he said. “I am seeing temperatures dip down into the middle or lower 30’s the night of the 2nd into the 3rd in May. Now, if we don’t have much crop in the ground, it probably doesn’t matter, but we still have a push or two of cold air yet to come.”
Those cooler temperatures will also slow the dry down process. Bottom line: summon all your patience as the slow 2019 planting season progresses.