Monday’s crop progress report showed Indiana corn planting four percent completed and that number will surely grow in the next report as farmers grabbed opportunities to plant this week. But a round of rain Wednesday and Thursday, including marble sized hail west of Kokomo and almost an inch and a half of rain in Clinton County stalled field work in many locations. In the new HAT planting forecast chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says there will be a few more planting windows from now through mid-May, but you need to be ready for them.
“I think we’ve got a very active pattern continuing,” he said. “If I’ve seen anything in the way my forecast has evolved over the past week, I’m not looking for as much heavy rain, but you take some of the heavy rain out of one system and all of a sudden you put in another one in the middle of what should have been a 4-day dry window. For example, we’ve got the system moving across the Corn Belt this weekend that’s going to give everybody some pretty good rain, then I had been looking for about four days of dryness to start off next week. I’ve had to narrow that down to two.”
Tuesday night into Wednesday more rain is possible, light rain this time. Thursday night through midday Friday the northern third of Indiana might get a quarter to half inch of rain. But that’s not all Martin is worried about. Wind could factor in as well.
“Because a lot of cover crops still need sprayed and we have some burndown that’s behind in spots. We’ve seen these systems as they’re coming in get a little bit stronger. Every time you see a stronger low it doesn’t matter how much precipitation is with it, if the low is strong you’ve got good strong winds with it. Notice this as we went back through the Thursday time frame, very gusty winds over most of the state. There is a strong frontal boundary complex that comes through this weekend and it probably gives us some good strong north to northwest breezes as we kick off Monday.
Some weather systems will carry heavy winds, others not so much. But overall, spraying could be difficult in the coming weeks. The planting forecast is online Saturday, and it can be delivered to your email inbox by signing up at www.hoosieragtoday.com, brought to you by Seed Consultants and Kokomo Grain.