Was the rain enough to ease dry September conditions?

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

The week ending Sept. 24 left over half of Ohio on the short side with soil moisture, with 55% rated short or very short, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office.

After a rather cool summer and some moisture recovery for many areas in Ohio in July and August, very dry weather took over in September. Temperatures have averaged close to normal, though we have seen a few hot days and cold nights (low 40s last week in spots). Precipitation deficits were running anywhere from 1to 4 inches below average in September, representing less than 25% of normal for much of the state. Several stations, including the Cincinnati, Columbus, Findlay, Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown areas were experiencing one of their top five driest Septembers on record with less than a week left in the month. This has led to rapid crop drying, drying ponds, creeks, and streams, browning lawns, wilting of unirrigated landscape plants, and visible stress to young trees with some early color and leaf loss.

As of Thursday, September 21, 2023, over half of the state was described as abnormally dry according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, with deteriorating conditions likely in the next couple of weeks. Though perhaps welcome for an efficient harvest, this dryness poses risks including the need for additional moisture to finish off crops, increased combine and field fires, and potential challenges for cover crop and wheat germination and stand establishment this fall. 

For more information, check out the State Climate Office and sign up for our monthly and quarterly climate summaries.

Check Also

Eliminating unwanted woody weeds from pastures in the winter

By Dean Kreager, Licking County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator When you look at your …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *