Harvest season is in full swing, and many Tri-Staters are looking forward to a great quality yield.
Unlike the growing season, which is dependent on rainy days and warmer afternoons, long stretches of drier weather is what many growers want for a successful return.
Storm Team 44 is aware of the responsibility we have to the agriculture community to provide the most accurate forecast, especially this time of the year. Here are some of the reasons why weather plays an integral role in a good or bad harvest season.
In the lower Midwest, we have acres upon acres of corn and soybean fields. According to the USDA, the state of Indiana contributes about 7% of the country's corn and soybean production annually. Between mid-September and late November is the ideal harvesting periods for both crops.
Thanks to the advancement of technology, farmers are now able to use machines like combine harvesters. That machine does three things at once: cuts and gathers the crop; separates the edible parts, and moves the unwanted stalks and husks away from the grains. A soggy field created by rainfall will overwhelm the machine's ability to navigate and ultimately result in slow production.
Not only will the tools and equipment take a hit, but the actual crop can also be impacted due to excessive rainfall events. Heavy showers, or worse yet hailstones and strong winds can strip from the crops.
The absolute worst scenario is to have a rainy autumn with an early frost, followed by a snowy or wet winter. This can further complicate seeding and the growing season for next year’s crop. This was an unfortunate reality for many growers in the Midwest in the spring of 2011.
Luckily, the Tri-State usually experiences the driest months in the fall season. We will continue to keep you updated with any major changes to the forecast.