You could almost see this one coming. And although hopefully the weather pattern will settle down and allow for a decent harvest season, September provided bursts of rain to places that hadn't seen rain hardly all summer long. And when the weatherman says it will quit raining Monday and it lingers all week, as it did last week, you know the pump is finally primed and for most parts of Indiana, at least, the drought if not over, is not as critical as it was. After all, in most cases, the damage is done.
One Farmer in Greene County weighed in last week, reporting that after a summer where spiders spent more time in the rain gauge than water did, he received six inches during the third week of September. Count them - six! Not exactly what he was looking for when he was thinking about beginning to harvest what crop he had left instead.
Reports of two inches of rain were rather common last week in various parts of the state, even parts where residents joked that there was a bubble over their town, and it wouldn't rain there. It did last week, and the rain lingered all week long, whether it amounted to much or not.
What it did as the calendar kept marching on was move back the time for harvest. Even in fields where soybeans were ready to run before the rain, several days of clouds and on and off drizzle kept the beans themselves from being wet enough to harvest.
What comes next? Weatherman Greg Soulje, Chicago, who prepared a fall and early winter forecast especially for Farm Progress Companies, as noted last week, expects mid-to-late fall to be wet and much colder than normal. The trick is defining what mid-to-late fall means. That's why many farmers are hoping for what they didn't want two months ago - some dry weather to get them back in the field so they can get crops out before it turns truly nasty.