March is on its way out and now the main spring planting consideration revolves around the condition of Indiana soils. Will the ground allow farmers to get the planting equipment in and off to a good start? Hoosier Ag Today chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says soil moisture right now is pretty favorable.
“Currently across the Hoosier state we are just coming out of a weekend period that gave anywhere from half to 2-inch rainfall totals, so I would put our current soil moisture conditions at adequate to a little bit of surplus. The thing is not many areas in that surplus category, you drive around the state and see some puddles here and there, but not a lot of standing water. That may change as we go through the next ten days to two weeks as we continue to see a lot of moisture headed this way.”
So how much rain might be developing? Martin sees three to four systems developing that could impact Indiana.
“Combined rainfall totals look to be at least one to three inches statewide,” he said, “and if we get the right combination of strong to severe thunderstorm action we could see some areas go above that three-inch range. What that means is we’re going to be looking at a soil profile come April 15th that is going to be very saturated top to bottom. As I look at this we’re probably going to be seeing very little potential for field work as we go into the middle of the month of April. Even though temperatures are going to be normal to slightly above, I think we’re going to be seeing soil temperatures up in that 50-degree range or better through most of the state by the time we get to April 10th.”
But the problem is it will likely be just too wet to work the ground as the 15th approaches. Martin says even sandy ground will be borderline too wet to work.