Hardin County – Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 1.85 inches of rain in Hardin County during June.
Last year, the average rainfall for June was 7.08 inches. Rainfall for the month was 3.63 inches less than the ten-year average rainfall in the month of June.
Hale Township received 3.45 inches, the most of the township sites. The least rain in June, 0.38 inches was reported in Liberty Township.
For the growing season since April 15, the average precipitation in all the townships was 8.12 inches, with a range from 10.15 inches in McDonald Township to 6.90 inches in Jackson Township.
Less rain in June allowed farmers to get corn and soybeans planted that they weren’t able to previously plant in May due to wet soils. Some fields were replanted in spots where there was ponding due to May rainstorms. Good field conditions in June allowed not only for spring planting, but also an earlier first cutting of hay as compared to recent years. This allowed better quality hay but less tonnage at harvest time. Farmers were able to make herbicide applications and apply nitrogen to corn in a timely manner as well. Some corn went unplanted due to a late planting date and lower market prices. This acreage was either left for prevented planting for crop insurance or switched to soybean. A dry June also kept disease pressure low for the wheat crop.
Wheat harvest brought average grain yields and straw continues to be baled in several of these fields. Crops in the field continue to grow slowly due to dry conditions although they continue to advance in growth stage. Rain has been spotty in places around the county, with most areas in need of moisture. As corn approaches pollination, dry and hot weather could affect the process. Uneven growth and dry conditions pose a threat to corn yields throughout the county. Soybean crops need additional rain as well to provide vegetative growth for nodes and pod placement as reproductive stages have begun in this crop. Soybeans tend to be more forgiving of dry conditions and can improve with rains later in the season. Overall, soybean fields show more promise versus corn as the season progresses with good weed control and ability to adapt to growing conditions.