News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 7, 2013

180 degrees in 365 days: While farmers suffered through drought in 2012, 2013 has brought downpour after downpour

June 2012 saw 0.23 inches of rain, while 8.79 inches fell in 2013

TERRE HAUTE — The week of June 24, Marty Evans measured more than 11 inches of rain on land he farms in southern Vigo and Clay counties — including 8 inches measured in just one day.

But he’s not complaining, especially when he looks back at last year’s drought. So far this year, his farmland has drained pretty well and he’s optimistic about his corn, soybean and wheat crops.

 He anticipates yields will be above average.

“I would say this year is completely the opposite of the 2012 crop year,” when a prolonged drought and intense heat brought with it “a lot of losses,” he said.

That’s not to say Evans wouldn’t like to see more sunshine. “We’re a little too wet right now,” he said last week. “We need sunshine and dry weather to keep the crops good.”

Evans has a 4,500-acre family farm, Be-N-Ag,  in southern Vigo and Clay counties.

If the soggy weather pattern and heavy rains continue for a long period, “We’d probably lose some potential crop,” he said.

With too much moisture, the ground becomes saturated and plants can’t get oxygen at their roots.

“We did have to replant about 140 acres” of corn earlier in the season because of excessive moisture, he said.

Also, soybeans have started to turn yellow, the result of too much moisture.

What a difference a year makes

Last year in June, Vigo County recorded 0.23 inches of rain, more than 4 inches below normal. In the last half of the month, temperatures frequently hit the 90s — reaching 106 degrees on two days, according to National Weather Service data.

Last month, the county had 8.79 inches on average, more than 4 inches higher than normal, according to the National Weather Service. The average temperature was 72.2, slightly below normal.

Statewide, Indiana has had 26.25 inches of rain on average in the first six months of the year, said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist with Purdue University.

That’s 5.6 inches more than the average, which is 20.65 inches. “That’s 30 percent higher than a normal year,” he said.

Last year, it was in “just the opposite direction,”  Scheeringa said. In the first six months of 2012, the state average was 14.48 inches of rain, or 6.17 inches less than normal. “That’s about 70 percent of normal,” he said.

Wabash Valley farmers spent last summer “on edge” about drought and high temperatures, said Jim Luzar, of the Vigo County Purdue Extension office.

It’s a different picture this time around. Rainfall has been variable across the Wabash Valley to the extent that some farmers wouldn’t mind having a little more rain, while a few farmers in isolated areas have likened it to the 2008 flood, Luzar said.

There are pockets, especially in southern Vigo and northern Sullivan counties, that have seen water damage to crops, he said.

But Luzar said that, at his farm in Putnam County, “Corn looks really good.”

Wabash Valley farmers could see varied growing conditions. “There is going to be a lot of variability in plant health and progress based on planting dates, rainfall accrued and soil types,” Luzar said.

Fred Wilson, who farms in southern Vigo County — about two-thirds of it riverbottom land — describes this year as “the polar opposite” of last year.

This year, “We didn’t plant anything until May 15. We were done planting before then last year,” he said. Wilson, who grows corn and soybeans, has been thwarted in his planting effort by heavy, frequent rain and a swollen Wabash River. “We have about 300 acres we haven’t planted yet,” he said.

Unless the Wabash River is down to around 7 or 8 feet, the moisture stays under the soil, preventing planting on the lower ground. On Thursday, the river stage was 9.68 feet and falling; flood stage is 14 feet.

Wilson tells friends, “I’d rather see it burn up than flood … with flooding, you’re guaranteed nothing. With a drought, you have poor yields, but that’s better than nothing.”

At this point, he expects to come out ahead of last year. On the higher ground, “Everything is great,” he said.

But if there should be a lot of rain from the north and the river stage rises, that will take a toll. With a 20-foot river, “Half of my farm will make nothing,” he said.

Illinois farmers faring no better

Gary Garzolini, who farms in Edgar County, Illinois, and northwestern Vigo County, said all the rain “slowed me down in getting my crops out. Normally, I would plant corn from April 15 to 25.” This year, he said, most of it was planted between May 17 and 23.

He had to replant about 25 acres of soybeans that didn’t emerge after a heavy rain.

“There’s been plenty of moisture. Right now, we need more sunshine and heat” to get crops matured and into production stage, Garzolini said.

Also, there’s been a delay in harvesting winter wheat because of the rains. Fair weather conditions on Thursday and Friday gave him a window to make some progress, and he was hoping for a few more days of the same. “We’re on a roll today,” he said Friday.

This year’s outlook is much better than a year ago, Garzolini said. “Given the moisture and the way the crops look now, it will have to be better. Last year was miserable as far as the harvest; there was not much to harvest,” he said.

In fact, some farmers are saying “it looks so good it kind of scares you. Hopefully we don’t run into late July storms or anything like that, which can damage stalks or beans,” he said.

Garzolini and his brother own about 300 acres and sharecrop another 600 acres.

Earl Breon, National Weather Service meteorologist, said the outlook for the next two weeks is for above-normal precipitation in central Indiana, including the Terre Haute area.

For the rest of the month, there are equal (50/50) chances of above or below normal precipitation; the same is true for the three-month outlook.

For the next week, there is at least a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms each day through Thursday, with a greater likelihood of rain this weekend and Tuesday, Breon said.

According to Associated Press, Illinois is breaking records when it comes to rainfall in 2013. January to June marked the wettest six months on record for the state, which saw a total precipitation of 28.7 inches.

The state’s average precipitation last month was 5.2 inches, almost one inch higher than the Illinois’ 30-year average and more than double the total rainfall from June 2012.

The two wettest areas in Illinois were in northern Illinois and an area just south of Interstate 70. The town of Flora in southern Illinois got 12.6 inches of rain last month, according to AP.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Earl Elliott report1 copy.jpg Report: City‘s general fund to remain in red

    The city’s general fund balance on June 30 remained deep in the red, even after Terre Haute received its twice-yearly property tax check from the state.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • MET 072314 INTERN 01MILLER.jpg Interns, getting foot in the door, bring diversity to workplace

    Shanya Tompkins interviewed with Coldwell Banker-Troy Helman Realtors, anticipating an eight-week, part-time summer internship.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • MET072514dance porter.jpg Everybody get up and dance now

    National Dance Day promotes dancing as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Man arrested after rollover kills teen girl

    A Terre Haute man has been arrested and a teenager has died following an alcohol-related accident early today.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks

    After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man faces 9 charges in homicide case

    A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.

    July 25, 2014 1 Story

  • maroon truck.jpg UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision

    A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • red truck.jpg Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured

    A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

    CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.

    July 25, 2014

  • holiday world thunderbird.jpg Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster

    SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.

    July 25, 2014

  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • MET 072414 HOESS 01KOR.jpg Voices from Auschwitz: Ties that bind

    A message that has spread like wildfire across Europe can easily translate to America.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Minimum wage frozen after 5 years

    Thursday marked the fifth anniversary since the federal minimum wage was increased, a wage U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez contends should again be raised.

    July 24, 2014

  • MET072414 CANDLES shake.jpg ISU, CANDLES join to ‘illuminate the world’

    Indiana State University and CANDLES Holocaust Museum are joining forces to educate current and future generations about the Holocaust, genocide and related issues.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET072414 JA hadley.jpg 50 years later, still business as usual

    Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley marked its 50th anniversary hosting a luau Thursday at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two semis collide; one driver injured

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital Thursday after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Valley talent returns for show tonight

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo is scheduled to be back at The Verve tonight to perform the last installment of its 2014 series.

    July 24, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Sirens After Explosions in Israel Raw: Planes With MH17 Victims Land in Eindhoven Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Raw: Tanks Patrol Gaza Streets During Ceasefire
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity