The rainy weather that has settled over much of Indiana for the past month has made harvesting and drying hay for safe storage more difficult, potentially raising the risk of barn fires, a Purdue Extension forage specialist says.
After a brief stretch of dry weather midweek, rain was expected to return to parts of central and southern Indiana Friday night into Saturday (May 19 and 20), dealing another setback to farmers who have fallen significantly behind schedule in planting the state's grain crops.
Indiana's corn producers had 30 percent of their crop planted as of May 1 and were ahead of schedule despite more rain than normal so far this spring.
The potential of a major, crippling snowstorm headed for the East Coast this weekend serves as a reminder for everyone in snow-prone areas to prepare for the worst, Purdue Extension disaster education specialist Steve Cain says.
The extent of the crop damage caused by last summer's severe weather became clearer with a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report showing that Indiana's corn production fell to its lowest level in three years. The state's soybeans fared better, recovering enough from the early-season flooding to produce a stronger crop.
Current flood models do not account for cities' impact on local rainfall patterns, an oversight that could lead to significantly underestimating the severity and frequency of floods in urban areas, a Purdue study finds.
Purdue University projects improving usability of climate information for Midwest agriculture and taking regional approaches to economic development in rural Indiana have earned National Institute of Food and Agriculture Partnership Awards.