Home Delivery

AgriNews gives readers information they can't get elsewhere to help them make better farming decisions. The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews editorial staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses.

Digital

Read AgriNews on your computer or download and take it with you. Get full access on your desktop, tablet and mobile devices every day.

Email Newsletter

Delivered to your inbox each evening, AgriNews shares the top agricultural news stories of the day. And it's free.
Science

Soils are wetter in Illinois from mid-May showers

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Recent rains have caused soil moisture levels to rise in most of Illinois, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

Illinois received 2.85 inches of rain between May 14 and 17 with totals of more than 7 inches reported in the northeast.

Prior to this, soil moisture levels had been declining in all regions during the first two weeks of May as the state saw an average decrease of 19% in moisture levels at the 2-inch depths.

Heavy rain, though, reversed the trend as moisture levels increased 35 percent to a mid-month average of 0.45 water fraction by volume on May 17.

Similar increases occurred at the 4- and 8-inch depths. Soil moisture remains highs at depths of 20-inches and greater.

Soil temperatures measured at 4 inches under bare soil have increased 8 degrees the first half of May. Temperatures averaged 66 degrees on May 17 as daily highs ranged from the mid-60s in the north to high 70s in the south.

Loading more