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April weather overstays its welcome

By Richard C. Snell
Barton County Extension Agent, agriculture
Kansas

Are we ever going to get the corn planted this year? That might be a question that many farmers are asking this spring. This is true at least from the mid-plains to the Corn Belt.

From time to time, I like to write about what is happening in the field and with the weather. This is not to insult your intelligence, for I know you can walk out the door or look out the window. As a farmer, you know only too well what is happening. However, I have a wide readership from farmers to landowners or just people in town who would like to know what's happening.

This has been a strange weather year because it seems our months are all mixed up. Back in February and March, we had a lot of warm days, but the temperatures were really like a yo-yo. It kind of reminds me of the old 1970s song by the Osmonds--"Yo-Yo."

Turnin', turnin' love keeps a-burnin'

like a fire in my heart when we're apart,

but when we're back together,

you keep changin' like the weather.

Whoops! Now up and down like a yo-yo.

Just like a yo-yo.

We had dry soils, with very little moisture the first quarter of the year. It would get up to 70 to 80 degrees nearly every week and then fall back to single digits with in the same week.

Once we hit April, it was a total turnaround. Actually from about Highway 4 south, it turned with the big snow in late March. Since that time it has been cool and wet.

In Ellinwood, it's not that we have had a large volume of rain, like they have had around Wichita and at my home place near Winfield; we have just had a lot of cloudy, drizzle days. That's often how April is. They say April showers bring May flowers and that is because we have more rainy days in April than any other month, typically. You get about .15-inch rain at a time, with rain about half of the days in the month.

The result of this has been difficulty in getting field corn planted. We are often nearly done with corn planting and at this writing we are only about 25 percent complete locally. Some farmers are half or more planted, others have yet to start. April has truly overstayed it's welcome!



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