April Weather Outlook???
Created by rrummel on 3/27/2014 4:26:05 PM

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Indiana farmers getting ready forspring planting can get a good idea of what they most likely will have to workwith in April just by looking across their fields now. Wet or dry conditions they see areunlikely to change much over the month, said State Climatologist based at PurdueUniversity. If the soils are in good shape now, they should be ready forplanting on time. But for fields that are too wet now, farmers can expectplanting delays."Our best indication of the trendat this stage is persistence in weather patterns we have beenexperiencing," Niyogi said. "We do not see anything drasticallychanging in the short term."Niyogi said the weather likely willchange toward more favorable conditions in the latter half of the growingseason when an El Nino warming trend is expected to develop."This change comes onslowly," he said. "It takes several months before we get a good gripon trends."For April, the average temperaturecould be about 2 to 4.5 degrees below normal for the month, with the worstcases in southern counties, according to an analysis by Ken Scheeringa, associate stateclimatologist. He reviewed temperatures over the past century and weathermodels of the U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center,which believes that the winter pattern will continue over the U.S.


While the average temperature would bebelow normal, Scheeringa noted that it would show a trend toward moderationrelative to the two previous months. Indiana's average temperature in Februarywas about 8.7 degrees below normal, and March was running 6.6 degrees belownormal.

Looking ahead through the end of June,Scheeringa said the average temperatures for the three months could be 0.4degrees to 2.7 degrees below normal, with the worst cases again in the south.

Providing an outlook for precipitationis more difficult because there are no strong climatic signals for April,Scheeringa said. But he said if the cold pattern continues, Indiana couldexpect more of the Alberta clipper-type systems, which tend to carry lessmoisture when they go through the state.

Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen said corn farmersshould not be overly concerned about the weather forecast for spring planting.That is because planting date by itself has "little predictive power"for absolute yield potential.

"Yield is determined by thecumulative effects of the season-long multitude of yield-influencingfactors," Nielsen said. "Growers should simply 'go with the flow' anddeal with what Mother Nature gives them." 

Although soybeans typically are plantedafter corn, Extension soybean specialist Shaun Casteel said soybeans are more responsive to timelyplanting than is corn. If farmers are delayed in planting corn until late Aprilor early May, he said soybeans should be planted at the same time.

"Late April to early May plantingof soybeans is more critical for soybeans than for corn," he said.