Above-average rainfall across region hinders farmers, crops

Farmers continue to struggle to get work done in the fields after another above-average month of precipitation in April. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels were measured at a surplus as a result of the consistent rainfall.

In the month of April, Dayton received 4.22 inches of rain. While this number is only 0.13 inches above the average, April marks the sixth consecutive month that Dayton has surpassed the average monthly precipitation total.

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The lengthy wet period has set back corn planting statewide. According to the USDA’s most recent Crop Progress and Condition Report, only 2% of corn has been planted. In the last 5 years, an average of 13% of the total corn crop had been planted by this point in time.

Winter wheat condition has noticeably suffered due to the surplus of rain as well. Ponding and flooding in the fields has caused some wheat to be drowned out completely. The overall condition of winter wheat is down significantly from 2018. Roughly 30% of the winter wheat crop is currently measured classified with a “poor” or “very poor” condition. In 2018, the percentage of winter wheat in these conditions was closer to 5%.

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Field conditions will struggle to improve as we progress through the month of May. The Climate Prediction Center’s forecast leans towards above-average precipitation for what will be the seventh month in a row.

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