More than seven inches of rain has fallen in
some areas this month
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
It’s still a bit premature to say farmers don’t need to worry about dry conditions this year. But right now, rainfall in May has eclipsed 2011 when Imperial recorded 6.88 inches of rain.
According to area reporters for the Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network (NeRAIN), most areas in Chase County have received more than six inches this month. In the case of some areas in Imperial, the tally stands at 7.11 inches of precip.
Since May 19, Imperial recorders have measured 3.65 inches of rainfall. The Champion area reporter recorded just shy of four inches.
In 2012, only 1.12 inches of rain fell in May and .74 of an inch in June. Last year, 3.41 inches of rain fell in Imperial in May, followed by 7.93 inches in June.
Some hail damage
Until heavy rains accompanied by some hail fell Sunday night, most of the rains have come evenly and soaked into the ground.
But more than an inch of rain came hard Sunday night, leaving damage in its wake.
Some of the worst damage was just south of Champion where some wheat fields will be a total loss.
Mike Bauerle, who lives just east of Enders atop the valley, said the hail streak came from the southeast, heading northwest. He said it’s rare to have hail come up from the southeast. Normally, it comes from the west.
He has corn planted on a circle just west of Champion.
“It was just getting to where you could look across the field and see green,” he said.
On Monday morning, he said it didn’t even appear any corn was ever planted in the field, noting the hail just sheared it off. In addition, the rain fell hard enough to cover the plants with dirt.
So for now, it’s a waiting game, he said. The growth point is under dirt now so the test will be whether the plants can break back through.
In this area, most of the irrigated corn was planted in between rains. However, a few fields still remain unplanted. Plus, very little of the dryland corn has been planted due to the moisture.
Monday, May 25, was the final planting date for corn to get full crop insurance coverage. The program allows for a 20-day late-planting period but for every day the crop goes unplanted, farmers lose 1 percent of coverage.
The final planting day for crop insurance on soybeans is June 10, which isn’t far off. Plus the forecast through Friday calls for more rain.
One sector of the ag scene benefitting from all the rain is range owners. The pastures are getting as much early rain as they’ve had since 2011.
To track rainfall recorded by the NeRAIN recorders, go to: http://nerain.dnr.ne.gov/nerain/.