Monday, April 25, 2011

Wet April, 2011

Chad Lee, Grain Crops Extension, University of Kentucky

Tom Priddy, with the University of Kentucky Ag Weather Center sent out the following link for April rainfall history. With six days left to report, Lexington and Frankfort both have the wettest April in history. Louisville is less than an inch from beating its record totals for rainfall. Bowling Green is fairing much better with 'only' 6.82 inches so far.

There is still a chance to get good yields on corn. Corn yield losses from planting normally do not occur until after May 10 to May 15. Historically, we do not suggest moving to an earlier-maturing hybrid until about June 5, but some recent data from central Kentucky suggests that by about May 15 to 20, hybrid maturity should be 115 days or less.

Not to be too pessimistic, but the average rainfall totals for a year in Kentucky are about 45 to 50 inches. Over the past 90 days, much of the state has received about 20 inches of rain, which is around 8 inches ahead of 'normal'. If we end up with only 45 to 50 inches in total rainfall for the calendar year, then we are going to need some timely rains during the growing season to help us with yields. Cooler temperatures this summer, as compared to last year, would help out as well. 

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