Indiana climatologists say the state’s farmland has recovered from last year’s drought. Additional snow expected this week could bring further improvement.
Associate State Climatologist Ken Scheeringa says warm temperatures coupled with day-long rains worked wonders for the soil.
“In the middle of January we had a very warm period of about four or five days, which was an excellent set up, because it allowed the ground to thaw out,” he says. “Because the ground was thawed, then we had an all-day rain which allowed that moisture to percolate into the soil and recharge it.”
Teresa Birtles, the owner of Heartland Family Farms in Spencer, says while she is hopeful for a good growing season, small farms are still preparing for the worst.
“I think a lot of us, especially small, naturally grown and organic growers are focusing on prevention of moisture loss and just making sure that heading into the season that we’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature might throw at us this year,” Birtles says.
Birtles is purchasing about 1,000 bales of straw to provide ground-cover for her crops.