The 2019 planting season is shaping up to be late and difficult. However, there is one good thing: no drought worries. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says, unlike last year at this time, the chances of a drought are not high.
“I think it is safe to say that given the wetness we have seen over the winter and continue to see, there are going to be very few drought concerns over the next few weeks.” He noted that most of the nation has been experiencing above normal precipitation in the from of rain, ice, or snow.
That does not mean, however, that it will be an easy plant this spring. In fact, Dr. Ryan Bartlett, with Compass Minerals, paints a very bleak picture of what growers will be facing this spring.
“Soils are saturated, the harvest that went late last year probably caused some compaction issue. We are going to be dealing with cold and wet conditions that will make it hard to seeds to germinate and get even emergence. Farmers are likely going to see a compressed planting window that will make it hard to get much field preparation done.” Bartlett says seed treatments will play an important role this year in not only protecting the seed in cold and wet conditions but in helping it get off to a good start in what will be less than ideal weather conditions.
There is a relatively dry forecast this week, but as we finish out the month, HAT meteorologist Ryan Martin says more rain is in the forecast. He states, “Starting later next Sunday afternoon. We see rain from there through Monday bringing half to 1” of rain with 80% coverage. Then a second batch of moisture arrives Tuesday night and goes through Wednesday, adding another .25”-.5” and 100% coverage. Then, we finish the extended pattern going back dry for Thursday and Friday, as we get ready to finish the month.”