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Ag Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: September 28, 2018

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An upper level low pressure area off the northern California coast will become weaker and move northeast across the area this weekend. Other than some scattered light showers late Saturday and Sunday, it looks like another dry week is in store for the Columbia Basin. Rainfall amounts will be mainly a tenth of an inch or less. Although this mostly dry pattern continues to help with corn, potatoes, onions, and fruit harvest, it does delay winter wheat planting where soil moisture is too deep or non-existent. For much of the area, it’s now been over 3 months since appreciable rains have fallen. In the first 8 inches at Lind Washington, soil moisture sensors show less than 10 percent moisture, while at Pendleton it’s about 15 percent. The current soil temperatures in the 60s would promote good germination if there was just any decent soil moisture. Any rain on Sunday may delay hay curing by a day, but alfalfa baling should be able to proceed for a longer time period. Lowest daytime humidity on most days will be in the 25 to 35 percent range. Field burning will continue to be challenging due to poor smoke dispersion. Yesterday, I observed a stubble field burning near Milton Freewater and the smoke was showing little movement and this was early afternoon. You can plan on spraying conditions to be less favorable this weekend due to stronger winds and the chance for washoff.

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