Indiana is dealing with a severe drought that is threatening the livelihood of residents. Currently we have a 6-10 inch deficit in annual rainfall. The hardest hit areas are the southwestern counties. The state as a whole is about 90 percent drier than usual, which is categorized as a severe drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor map. This year’s below average rainfall puts crops in a vulnerable state, which is detrimental for Indiana farmers and increases the risk of wildfires.
Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen explained that the counties suffering most from the drought could have damaging effects upon the crop yield of corn and soybeans plants. For the farmers who haven’t experienced the worst of the drought the crops have the potential to bounce back. Indiana farmers need to have rainfall occur within the next 2-3 weeks or they will suffer devastating yield losses on their crops.
Conditions within Indiana are leaving fire departments on alert as well. The high temperatures and low rainfall increase the possibility of wildfires. To try to decrease the likelihood that one will occur Marshall, Noble and Steuben counties have issued burn bans. Wildfires can be extremely dangerous due to how fast the fire spreads. The rate that a wildfire spreads depends upon the wind making them extremely unpredictable.
Indiana farmers and firefighters are not the only ones that are worried about the below average rainfall. Indiana residents are worried about the appearance of their lawns. Hardware stores are seeing an increase in purchases for sprinklers. The coming weeks will reveal just how serious this drought its.
If you are concerned, there are a couple ways for you to mitigate your impact on the drought. Water the lawn during the early morning or late evening. When watering vegetation be sure to use an efficient system. Also, be aware of water restrictions that are occurring in the area.
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