For the past week ideal Indiana weather has put most Hoosier farmers in a position to begin planting their 2016 crops. Farm fields are getting busier by the minute, but are there still some pockets in the state not quite ready? Hoosier Ag Today chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says, “I don’t think so. From what I’ve seen soil temperature wise on maps, it’s as they say close enough for government work. If you’re not quite above the 50-degree threshold or if you just went above it in the last day or two, it’s good enough. Let those soil temperatures just continue to warm and let your seed coatings work. We don’t have any major overnight low-temperature pushes coming that are problematic here, so I think statewide we can continue to go. It’s not soil temperature but more so soil moisture that’s going to be the problem as we go forward.”
And there is scattered rain in the forecast both this week and next. Martin said this week extended planting delays because of the rain Wednesday night through Thursday aren’t very likely.
“I’m looking at 5 hundredths of an inch to 3 tenths maximum,” Martin explained. “You might see a county or two that gets just a little tick or two more than that, but generally speaking if evaporation rates get back to a quarter of an inch moisture per day we’re talking just one day and we will remove the moisture that falls. So we should be able to get back at it as you move through the weekend, Saturday, Sunday, and at this point I think we squeeze out most of Monday.”
But next week a better chance for an extended pause in planting could develop, starting with a system that moves in late Monday afternoon into the evening.
“That will bring probably 2-5 tenths of moisture and then we’ve got some stronger storms and systems that move through Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. That right there could do a quarter to 1 ¼ on a broad range. I think a lot of the state could be in that half to ¾ of an inch range. So that there probably would set us back just a little bit. Temperatures will be fine, but there is good moisture coming, especially later next week.”
But when USDA reports on planting progress Monday expect to see a sizeable leap for Indiana and likely most of the U.S. corn planting states. Full details of Martin’s Indiana Farm Forecast are always at the HAT App for Apple and Droid and at www.hoosieragtoday.com.