The rainiest April since 1895 at many central and southern Indiana locations was followed by above average rainfall, although considerably less than April totals, in May. The result is what you're doing now- playing catch up on field work.
A new service this year is www.myrainscout.com. . Using Doppler radar and patented formulas, the company says it can pin down exactly how much rain you receive at any one location. For a $10 set-up fee and $15 per month, you get both daily reports if it rains, plus a monthly total at the end of the month. You can visit the Web site myrainscout.com to sign up, or call Beck's Hybrids at 800-937-2325. You don't have to be a Beck's customer to subscribe. Beck's is the exclusive dealer for the service in several Midwest states where it is offered.
We have two locations six miles a part, one at my home and one at a neighbor's farm, as a trial basis. The first monthly report just arrived. It showed some activity that didn't generate daily reports, such as measurements of 0.03 or 0.04 inches. The daily reports are generally generated if you receive 0.1 inch or more. If no rain falls, no daily reports are issued.
Both the daily and monthly reports are issued by email. You can set the service up so it reports the rainfall received at that location in a 24-hour period, often very early morning to very early morning the next day. That way you get the report around 7 a.m. in the morning on the day following the end of the collection period.
Total rainfall at the two sites for the entire month were similar. My home site received 1.70 inches on May 25, while the outlying farm received only 1.41. Although occasionally the outlying farm would receive a few hundredths of an inch more rain, in the end, when the monthly numbers were totaled, that difference in that one rain was about the difference for the month.
At home, my monthly total was 4.59 inches. At the outlying farm it was 4.24 inches. Part of the problem that kept farmers in this area sidelined was how the rain came. According to the report, both of the sites received measurable rainfall on 18 of 32 days in the month. The rainfall was 0.1 inches or less on 9 of those days, but those days were typically accompanied with cool, cloudy weather which did not allow for drying.