June 2, 2004 | By: Laura Skillman

Weather patterns with a chance of showers will continue across the state into next week bringing with them the chance of flooding and delaying farming practices.

Some areas of the state received large amounts of rainfall in May resulting in flooding and flash flooding.

The jet stream has pushed the storm track southeast putting Kentucky in its path, said Tom Priddy, agricultural meteorologist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. The latest long term forecast calls for above normal precipitation and cooler temperatures through June 8. Medium-range outlooks call for conditions to change near mid-June to near-normal temperatures and precipitation, he said.

Despite the wet conditions in mid-to-late May, dry weather in April and early May allowed farmers to make great planting progress with nearly all the state’s corn crop in the fields. Soybean planting, tobacco setting and hay production has also been able to move forward especially in the western part of the state where conditions have been drier than in north and central Kentucky.

Last year, April and May were far wetter than this year, which delayed plantings. Last year at this time, corn production was 84 percent compared to 96 percent this year. Soybean production had only begun by the end of May 2004 compared to nearly a third planted today.

“We’ve been blessed to have had such a beautiful April,” said Clint Hardy, Daviess County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. “But we are at the point now that what happened last year doesn’t make you feel any better with what you are dealing with today.”

Farmers in Daviess and nearby Ohio River counties saw substantial rains last week leading to water logged or flooded fields.  In three days, Hardy said he measured 4 inches at his home in Owensboro.

While most of the corn crop looks very good there have been several areas where replanting occurred in early May. Those water damaged spots may again be a problem and the surrounding corn is now too tall to do spot replanting for the second time. In the lower corn fields that were up but are now completely flooded, soybeans may be planted when dry soils return, he said.  

Soybean planting was moving into high gear before the rains set in last week, Hardy said. Since many of those fields have yet to emerge, replanting may be a reality if the soil surface dries out to make emergence difficult. 


Source: Tom Priddy, 859-257-3000, ext. 245