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With the help of fifteen volunteer rainfall reporters, the Hardin County Extension office has collected unofficial township rainfall data for the past twenty-four consecutive years.  The 2016 growing season started with a drier April that enabled some farmers to begin planting corn, before May brought wet conditions and cool temperatures, halting corn planting around the county.  A few soybean fields were also planted early, with limited progress in growth.

Rainfall amounts started to lessen after May 15 after going through a cool, wet period of about 3 weeks.  Along with less rainfall later in May, the county experienced warmer temperatures.  This allowed the soil to dry and provide better conditions for planting corn and soybeans.  Earlier planted crops that didn’t emerge because of cooler temperatures, emerged after this warmer weather.  This change in the weather also allowed for farmers to resume planting under more favorable conditions.

June started out dry until two rain events hit Hardin County late in the month.  Some fields experienced ponding and flooding in low areas, areas with compaction, and other hard to drain soils.  Crops in these areas were destroyed or stunted due to drowning out smaller plants and root systems where water laid for more than two days.  Soil moisture was good coming off a very heavy rain event in late June leading into the month of July.  However, that moisture could only last so long with the growing crops as July signaled the beginning of an extended dry period.  

Much needed rain occurred in August after the extended dry period that started in July.  The hot and dry weather during this period had an adverse effect on corn ear development and kernel fill.  Soybean fields utilized the extra rain in August to provide additional growth and produced new flowers that added pods to shorter plants.  September and October weather was favorable for fall harvest.  Because of the good weather, harvest was completed early again this year, with most fields being done by November.

During the growing season, from April 15 through October 15, average rainfall was 21.21 inches.  This is 2.43 inches below the ten-year average growing season precipitation, and 3.49 less inches of rain than last year’s growing season.  The most rainfall recorded during the growing season was 31.30 inches in Hale Township by Ramsey Farms.  The least amount of rain was recorded in Liberty Township by Phil Epley, with 18.09 inches for the season.  A wide range of 13.21 inches in rainfall accumulation from high to low across the county is an indication of the variability in rainfall throughout Hardin County in 2016.

Corn yields were inconsistent depending on the area rainfall, and when it arrived on area corn fields.  Several fields had lower yields due to smaller ears and incomplete kernel fill.  However, moisture levels in corn were fairly dry at harvest time, reducing the need for running grain dryers as much as some years.  Overall lower corn yields for the growing season were also accompanied with lower corn prices.  Because soybeans will adapt better to weather, the August rains helped increase yields with this crop.  Soybean prices were steady and aided by better yields for the crop compared to other years.  Winter wheat acres planted this fall in the county were growing well with the warm weather and should have ample tiller growth to survive the winter.  Herbicide, fertilizer, lime, and manure applications have also been done in selected fields.  Much fall tillage has happened around the county with some tiling operations still in progress.

 

Hardin County Extension Rainfall Report for October 1-15, 2016 (recorded in inches)

Township

Reporter

October

1-15

2016

Growing Season (from Apr. 15-2016)

Blanchard Township

Crop Production Services

0.40

19.36

Buck Township

Heritage Cooperative/Kenton

0.05

19.04

Cessna Township

Steve Lowery

0.04

20.36

Dudley Township

Dale Rapp

0.05

23.96

Goshen Township

Brien Bros. Farm

0.60

19.91

Hale Township

Travis Ramsey

0.55

31.30

Jackson Township

Jim McVitty

0.94

21.26

Liberty Township

Phil Epley

0.93

18.09

Lynn Township

Jan Layman

1.55

22.05

Marion Township

Mark Lowery

1.08

23.10

McDonald Township

Jerry Stout     

1.12

20.78

Pleasant Township

Robert McBride

0.50

19.11

Roundhead Township

Mike Lautenschlager

0.65

20.95

Taylor Creek Township

Silver Creek Supply

1.22

20.06

Washington Township

Randy Preston

0.23

18.79

 

Average

0.66

21.21

 





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