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Planting Forecast: Waiting for a Multi-day Dry Stretch

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Ryan Martin’s Hoosier Ag Today Planting Weather Forecast is brought to you by your Indiana Corn and Soybean checkoff programs and First Farmers Bank & Trust.

The heavy rain from this past week is done. The focus this week shifts to the chance of any kind of multi-day dry stretch. Models continue to have some disagreement, but we are trending just a little drier for the second half of this week in our planting forecast today. Will it be dry enough to allow for some field prep or even planting? Our thought is “probably not” but we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Easter Sunday should be dry. Now, sunshine may end up being better in some parts of the state than others, and evaporation rates will be OK. Breezy conditions will allow for some drying through the day. Temps will start to moderate too, leading to a rather nice day. Do not get used to it.

For this week are looking for rain early on for Monday and Tuesday, but then lesser changes going forward. Monday and Tuesday expect scattered showers to move into and across the state, first in the north, and then spread south/southeast. Combined, we are looking for rains of .25”-.75” with 70% coverage. Significant activity may wait until Monday late afternoon and evening to really start in the north. Some action may try to linger into early Wednesday, but we are less concerned with midweek rains than we were a couple of days back.

Clouds will mix with some Thursday. Friday scattered showers may be back, with minor totals up to .25” over 50% of the state. Some data suggest this moisture pushes back into Saturday, but the amounts are the same. So, if we look at this through the lens of “number of days/hours of drying”…the result is the same: we are looking better off this coming week than we thought…but perhaps not quite good enough to really get excited about field work. The map above shows precipitation totals for the week this week.

Models are in good agreement on a nice, dry finish to next weekend. Scattered showers return for Monday the 29th.

Temps this week look to be near normal.

Extended Period

For the extended 11-16 day period, our pattern picks up in intensity and frequency of precipitation. Rain that start Monday the 29th go into Tuesday the 30th and bring totals of .25”-.75”  with 100% coverage. Another round of showers start off the month of May on the 1st, with a chance of .1”-.3” and 80% coverage. A stronger system comes through the region over a 3 day period to finish the 16 day forecast window, form the 2nd through the 4th. This system will bring half to 2” and 90% coverage. We also expect some cooler temps in there as we start may. In fact, we continue to watch the overnight of the 2nd into the 3rd as a period where we might see some frost…as temps try and dip down into the mid 30s in northern Indiana (US 24 north)

Weeks 3 & 4:

We have some good news for the far extended period, as we trend drier. For week 3, we have only one frontal complex coming through for the 6th and 7th that brings up to .75 of moisture to about 80% of the state. The rest of the week should be dry. IT will be chilly, though, with temps below normal. Week 4 looks mostly dry, with only minor hit and miss showers…the big precipitation in the corn belt stays well west, and high pressure dominates. But, we stay below normal on temps in week 4 too. This does suggest that we should be fully in the throws of big planting progress around May 10th statewide.

Week 3

 

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)

Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)

Week 4

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)

Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)

Current Soil temperatures