April showers in Indiana have come frequently and the result has been swelled rivers and streams, some flooded, and very wet farm fields leading to planting delays across the state. In fact at just one percent of the corn crop planted according to USDA’s Hoosier state report Monday, almost no corn is in the ground.
The associate state climatologist Ken Scheeringa says the coming days offer very little hope of drying fields.
“We’ve had an awful lot of rain in April. We’ve had as much in one week as we normally get in the entire month across Indiana. Looking ahead just a little bit we won’t get as much rain, it won’t be quite as heavy, but it will be frequent enough that the top soils will be rewetted. And that is the problem.”
Farmers will be overly anxious to get in the fields in the month May but for that to happen we’ll need not only a break in the rain, but a warm up too. Will we get it?
“The picture is better as we go into May. The wet spell we think is going to slowly decrease, go away. Temperatures will increase back towards normal. So with the more normal temperatures, more normal rainfall, a typical May, I think we can expect that we will get back in the fields. Even though it’s a little bit delayed, planting will get done.”
Hoosier Ag Today meteorologist Rob Wasson’s view of the onset of May is that temperatures will warm above normal with spotty showers possible. The extended two week forecast has above normal temperatures for the state and slightly below average rainfall.
State climatologist Dev Niyogi earlier this year had said planting could be delayed because of a wetter-than-normal trend and that Indiana could be in for some drying in the growing season, leading to a return to mild to moderate drought conditions across the state. He said that possibility has not changed.
“We don’t have a dominant El Niño or La Niña this year, so the patterns we are seeing from wet to dry could become the highlight of the growing season,” Niyogi said.
Source: Purdue Ag Communications