Extension Rainfall Report for Growing Season

Written by on November 10, 2022

By Mark Badertscher

Hardin County – With the help of fifteen volunteer rainfall reporters, the Hardin County Extension office has collected unofficial township rainfall data for the past thirty consecutive years. The 2022 growing season began with some early planting in April; however wet soil prevented much field work from occurring in April.

In addition, a spring snow arrived during the month. The month of May brought rain and cool temperatures for farmers in Hardin County. This weather kept the soil wet and slowed down field activity that started in late April. Corn and soybeans that were planted earlier had ponding and emergence issues in some fields, causing the need for replanting in areas. Other fields needed to be planted for the first time that were too wet for planting until later in May or in early June.

Good field conditions in June allowed not only for spring planting, but also for the first cutting of hay. June also brought warmer temperatures, which allowed for early season growth. Farmers were able to make herbicide applications and apply nitrogen to corn in June as well. The second half of June was very dry. The dry weather helped keep disease pressure low for the wheat crop and allowed for an early harvest of that crop. Wheat harvest brought high grain yields with good test weights and good grain quality.

Rains were spread out throughout the month of July, which resulted in lower disease pressure in crops. Both corn and soybean crops had grown slowly until the rains started in early July. August continued the pattern set in July with more than average rain to make up for a dry June. Farmers were counting on rain to complete ear fill and to produce soybean pods.

Disease pressure had been low in corn and soybean fields until later in the season. Late season moisture brought on gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and tar spot in some areas, but after yield was established in corn fields. Some soybean fields showed bacteria leaf blight later in the season. Insect pressure continued to be relatively low in area fields.

Early soybean harvest in the county showed promise with good yields in September. Wheat was planted in the county in some fields where soybeans were harvested but needed moisture to help with emergence. The soybean harvest is now mostly complete except for a few double crop fields. Corn harvest was steady in October with a dry harvest season, with most fields shelled. Corn yields have been good as well with several producers reporting that their harvest work is done for this fall. Herbicide, fertilizer, lime, and manure applications have happened in some fields. Some fall tillage has also occurred around the county.

The first half of October brought an average of only 0.13 inches of rain to the county, which is 1.13 inches less than the ten-year average. Jackson, Liberty, and Roundhead Townships all reported 0.00 inches of rain for October 1-15, with three other townships reporting less than a tenth of an inch of rain. George Ziegler reported the most rain with 0.43 inches in Pleasant Township for the same time-period.

During the growing season, from April 15 through October 15, average rainfall was 21.54 inches. This is 2.22 inches below the ten-year average growing season precipitation, but 2.14 more inches of rain than last year’s growing season. The most rainfall recorded during the growing season was 25.44 inches in Cessna Township reported by Madelyn Lowery. The least rainfall in the county was recorded in Washington Township by Randy Preston with 18.28 inches for the growing season.

The ten-year average for total growing season rainfall in Hardin County is 23.76 inches.

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