This year's record rainfall across parts of the Midwest could make it more difficult for grain producers to determine a late-season irrigation strategy, a Purdue and Michigan State Extension irrigation specialist says.
A study led by Indiana State Climatologist Dev Niyogi of Purdue University has determined that existing crop models can reliably forecast corn yields during times of climate variability, specifically the El Nino and La Nina systems that influence temperature and precipitation in certain growing seasons.
July rainfall combined with June's historic rains to turn the two months into the second-wettest June and July on record in Indiana, according to the Indiana State Climate Office.
Rainfall during six weeks from about June 7 to July 21 totaled 15.09 inches, said the climate office, based in Purdue University's Department of Agronomy. The wettest June-July was in 1958, when 16.15 inches of rain fell in Indiana.
Indiana's corn and soybean crops in a month of rain have gone from among the best to among the worst, with Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt now estimating that production could decline by $475 million.