Some Indiana soils got some rains Monday, and in over half the state the rains were needed. The rains may have been what the doctor ordered for some. Many others might have needed a half inch to over an inch with the total falling short. Regardless, the impact of the rain, based on a dry forecast, could very well be short-lived.
“There’s a two-fold reason to that,” says Ryan Martin, HAT chief meteorologist. “First of all, places that are going to get decent rain, you’re going to be going through it relatively quick. The soil needs it, so it gets soaked in. You’re going to have evaporation that kicks in right away and you’re probably going to max that evaporation out at probably a quarter to a third of an inch of moisture per day. So, you’re going to see a lot of moisture moving and leaving that way. Secondly, the front as it has been trying to move through the Eastern Corn Belt has had some fairly significant holes. You can get a place that picks up a half to one inch of rain and you go twelve to fifteen miles north and they end up with nothing to maybe a tenth or two. That’s the kind of coverage that we’re seeing right now, where everybody may get rain, but those who get enough to make it last longer may be far, far fewer than the guys who get just a little bit.”
Crops have been challenged all year long, and it appears we won’t have a fix for that in the near term.
“But in the macro view too, you have to wonder when this is going to take on a life of its own as a bigger story,” Martin said. “We’ve been hearing little blurbs about needing the rain and even heard the term flash drought a couple of times last week, but it seems that the folks who are trading this, aren’t really paying attention and when it rains, you know rain makes grain. I really think it’s going to come home to roost because this looks like the pattern is going to continue right on into the middle of August.”
“Basically, the way the second half of July finished out is kind of what we’re looking at for most of August,” he said. “I don’t think we have any major cool air coming. Now, I did notice recent temperatures dipping down into the upper 40’s in areas like North Dakota, so there is some cooling air trying to come. I just don’t think it gets here quite yet in August.”
In USDA’s Monday report on crop progress, corn condition improved one point to 58 percent good to excellent, and national soybean condition remained at 54 percent good to excellent. Indiana corn and soybean condition scores are both at 36 percent good to excellent.
USDA NASS says Indiana topsoil moisture is 39 percent in the short to very short range, and 30 percent of subsoil moisture is in that range.