Field work and planting have been put in a major holding pattern this spring. In the weekly planting forecast we find out if the rains will continue to dominate and extend delays. Hoosier Ag Today chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says in the near term the constancy of rains should ease up.
“I think we’ll see a couple of dry days back to back here in the Hoosier state Sunday into Monday, but then we’ve got more rain coming this upcoming week,” Martin said. “Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday rains are back in the forecast. Next Friday Saturday we should be dry even into the following Sunday, so that would be 3 days.”
There is an issue with evaporation of the moisture, and Martin explains how it will further impact drying down enough for field activities.
“We can only evaporate out of our soil profile 1/4 of an inch of moisture per day when evaporation rates are at a maximum. So if you put 2 dry days back to back with maximum of evaporation, you’re taking 1/2 inch out, 3 dry days 3/4 of an inch. And what did we do this past week? Oh we put down anywhere from one or two, all the way up to four, five, or six inches of rain across the state. We got a lot of work to do.”
Evaporation could be aided by nearly normal temperatures, which Martin predicts for about the next week.
“One of the things that helps spur evaporation is if we get that dry air column to come in and we get some temperature with it because warmer air can hold more moisture than dry air,” he explained. “So you kind of speed your evaporation as temperatures rise. I see things over the next week or so staying near normal. We could even be back below normal as the rains come through that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday period.”
And how about moisture in the extended forecast?
“We’re seeing on again off again moisture once we get into the week after next so Monday the 13th anywhere from a quarter to maybe 1 inch of moisture. Thursday and Friday the 16th and 17th a quarter to an inch and a half, and maybe some thunderstorms in there, and we’re seeing another batch of moisture probably closer to the 20th into the 21st. So again if we only string together two to three dry days in a row we’re not going to dry down very much.”