Pharos-Tribune

Local News

February 5, 2013

End of drought

Climatologist says drought is over

Local farmers are hesitant to say the drought is over, while officials believe the end is in sight.

Associate State Climatologist Ken Sheeringa of Purdue University said his office has seen a great improvement in drought conditions after heavy rains in January. However, while the soil conditions are improving locally, farmers say they’re waiting to see what happens in the next few months.

Sheeringa said the amount of rain and snow accumulation in January helped fix the soil deficit caused by the widespread drought conditions last summer. Sheeringa said this means that the drought is likely over.

“It’s looking really good,” Sheeringa said.

After a summer of drought, Sheeringa said conditions began to slowly improve in August. But when there was a rain shortage starting in November, Sheeringa said drought conditions began to return.

Now, with the “extremely variable” warm weather and influx of snow and rain, Sheeringa said crops should no longer be in danger.

“The soils are giving back enough water that they’re ready for the next planting period,” Sheeringa said.

Kory Wilson, a corn, soy bean and tomato farmer in Young America and Galveston, said he’s seen signs of improvement in soil moisture, but it’s not quite enough yet. Still, he said he feels the area is doing better than its northern counterpoints.

“I think we’re in a lot better shape than some areas,” Wilson said.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released last Thursday, Cass and surrounding counties are no longer classified as being in drought. However, counties in the northern part of the state, like Fulton and Pulaski are still classified as “abnormally dry.”

Sheeringa said this is because those areas haven’t had the same rain and snow storms that have been affecting the rest of the state.  

“They just kept getting missed,” Sheeringa said.

However, Sheeringa was optimistic that the map will show improvement this Thursday because of recent storms.

“I’m thinking one of those weeks we’ll get the drought all the way out of here,” Sheeringa said.  

Wilson said he’s not ready to say the drought is “officially” over because he’s waiting to see what happens in March and April.

He said so far, the drought hasn’t affected planning for planting season, but it has caused him to downgrade his marketing and equipment purchases.

Dave Forgey, president of the Cass County Farm Bureau, said he’s also hearing hesitation from farmers. He said he believes it’s dependent on the rain to come.

“We still need to see pretty consistent rain,” Forgey said.  

Sheeringa said he believes precipitation will continue into February and March, and is fairly confident that there will be enough rain in the spring.

“I’m pretty encouraged right now,” Sheeringa said.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

To enjoy home delivery

of the Pharos-Tribune

CLICK HERE »

For a Pharos-Tribune

eEdition Subscription

CLICK HERE »

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072214 Western Wildfires.jpg Local volunteer to help wildfire victims A Flora resident will be among the volunteers helping those affected by the wildfires in Washington State.Pat Rinehart was scheduled to fly out of Indianapolis International Airport Monday afternoon and join fellow American Red Cross volunteers at th

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No Headline Provided Search for man continues at lake MOROCCO (AP) — Recovery crews are searching for the body of a Hammond man believed to have drowned at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. Indiana conservation officers say 24-year-old Saul Lopez disappeared Saturda

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT072214 Lauren Ray.jpg Logansport graduate makes a go at Hollywood “Instincta,” the latest film by a 2008 Logansport High School graduate, will be screened at the Gen Con Indy Film Festival in Indianapolis in August.It is an action, thriller cop drama short film, starring Logansport native Lauren Zehner Ray, Michael

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDU-PT072314 whitley lehr.jpg School's top honor goes to local grad Whitley Lehr chose Indiana University Kokomo because of its excellent School of Nursing. Receiving the campus’ most prestigious scholarships sealed the deal for each of her. The 18-year-old Delphi student called the Herbert Scholarship “a huge blessi

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214-Gwin3-BCM Landis Elementary teacher back from China experience Steve Gwin has hundreds of pictures already on his new laptop, just months after buying it. He spent the month of June in China teaching to kids at two schools and chronicled about each adventure.Gwin teaches first grade at Landis Elementary and got

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Four injured when motorcycles collide Four people were injured Sunday when a motorcycle rear-ended another motorcycle. The accident occurred at 4:06 p.m. Sunday on the ramp from U.S. 35 North at U.S. 24, according to Cass County Sheriff Deputy Brad Craven. Riding a 2012 Harley-Davidson,

    July 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 21, 2014

  • NWS-PT072014 Corn2.jpg Bumper crop? Corn farmers hopeful that good weather lasts Several Cass County corn farmers say they may see record-breaking harvests this fall thanks to “perfect” weather during the spring growing and summer pollination periods.“I think it’s going to be one of the best crops we’ve ever harvested,” southern

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Monticello puts cardboard to the test MONTICELLO — Lori Abbott has been collecting pieces of cardboard for months now, in anticipation of the Monticello Rotary Club Cardboard Boat Regatta.“After work, I go home and work on the boat,” Abbott said.The second annual cardboard boat race is h

    July 21, 2014

  • BIZ-PT072014 kesling 3D scanner.jpg Fitting in: Kesling's acquires 3-D scanner It’s like something out of Star Trek.You set your foot onto a glass pane. A small camera runs on a track around the pane, aimed all the while at the sole of your foot. And after about 15 seconds, the camera sends a 3-D image of your foot through the

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up
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.
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
eEdition