90% Of Indiana Abnormally Dry
Indiana drought map from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
U.S. Drought Monitor
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Indiana is dry and only becoming more arid as nearly 90 percent of the state is in a drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows 88.4 percent of Indiana is listed as abnormally dry, up from about 50 percent a week ago.
Northern and southwestern parts of the state are among the 39.4 percent of the state in a moderate drought. All or parts of seven counties in the state’s most southwestern tip are among the 5.1 percent in a severe drought.
Most of southeast Indiana has escaped the dry conditions, for now. But, with little rain as of late the region could be heading for a drought. Only 3.5 inches of rain fell in the Cincinnati area in May, about 1.4 inches less than normal, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.
“Things are trying to be normal, but it’s like turning a ship – it takes a long time to come about, and time is ticking for the growing season,” said Dev Niyogi, state climatologist with the Indiana State Climate Office at Purdue University.
Indiana’s early planted corn and soybean crops are beginning to show signs of stress due to the lack of rain. Because the corn crop is still young, however, a return to more normal growing conditions could turn the crop around – but it would need to happen soon.
Purdue University beef specialists also suggest that livestock producers need to plan for deteriorating pasture conditions and forages in short supply if weather remains dry.
“When the nutrient supply becomes limiting for these cows, not only will milk production go down, but reproductive performance will also go down,” Lemenager said. “These are things we have to be most concerned about in our management strategies, and how we think through this challenge is going to be important.”
Southern Ohio as well as most of Kentucky is normal according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Other than a 20 percent chance on Saturday, there is no significant rain in the immediate forecast for southeast Indiana.