For Indiana farmers waiting for the right planting conditions, soil moisture shouldn’t be a problem this year, but there are some lingering concerns about soil temperatures coming up in a timely fashion. In a HAT planting weather update, our meteorologist Ryan Martin says rains on the way should easily provide a soil moisture recharge.
“We’ve had rain already here in the first full week of April. We started it off with a nice little dousing of rain across a large part of the state. We’re going to add another system before the week is done, probably Thursday and Friday and some of that moisture is going to come via severe weather. I never like to talk about severe thunderstorms as giving you lots of rain, but they sure can put down a lot of moisture in a hurry. We’ve got another system next week that looks fantastic.”
And he adds, “The longer term forecast models went wetter in the past 24-36 hours so I think we add to that around the 17th-18th. I think we add another one around the 21st and 22nd and you get the idea, we’ll put together system, probably two days worth of break, and then another system.”
There is enough rain potential that Martin is even concerned about localized flooding in some areas. Temperatures are another concern, not because of daytime air temperatures, but the cool nights.
“Our overnight lows have not been all that impressive,” he said. “As a matter of fact our lows are still ranging between the 30’s to the low 40’s for the most part, so we’re doing some work on soil temperatures during the daylight hours, but we really like to have 50 degree 4-inch soil depth temperatures to put the corn in the ground. We’re not there yet. On the latest maps it looks in the north we’re still hovering around the lower to middle 40’s. Down in southern Indiana we’re already there but there we have a lot more moisture.”
So he does think it will be a stretch to get everybody at or above the 50 degree mark at the time that most would like. That would be less than ideal from the agronomic viewpoint, but, “I think as a matter of practicality if guys can go and the soil temperatures are sitting 46 or 47, I think this year they’re not going to wait. They’re just going to throw it in the ground.”
Hoosier Ag Today will feature weekly updates on planting and growing weather from Martin this season.
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