Dry summer? Maybe not for the midwest region

Dry summer? Maybe not for the midwest region With central South Dakota receiving nearly twice the normal amount of precipitation during the first part of May, soil moisture may be adequate to get farmers through the growing season, reported Al Bender, state climatologist at South Dakota State University.

The latest long-lead outlook for the June through August period is without a clear precipitation signal for the rest of the growing season, he said. However, the outlook does show a weak trend for the Cornbelt to have below normal temperatures.

Bender said farmers are in a situation where it only takes .10 or .15 inches of rain to delay a full day of planting.

"The precipitation in the central parts of South Dakota has been very heavy thus far in May," said Bender. "Mobridge, in the north central region, has had 4.37 inches and Chamberlain has reported 6.90 inches in the south central area."

According to the Agricultural Statistics Service, 20 percent of the state's corn was seeded on May 9, down 33 points from last year.

On another note, Bender gave the go-ahead for gardeners to start planting bedding plants. "We're getting towards the 10 to 15 percent probability of a frost," he said. "There's one or two chances out of ten that frost will occur after May 21."

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