May in Indiana ended as the seventh consecutive month of above-normal temperatures and the fourth consecutive month of below-normal precipitation. That trend is expected to continue at least through mid-June, according to the Indiana State Climate Office, based at Purdue University.

Parts of Indiana got some relief, however, with periods of rain during the last days of May, offering encouragement to many farmers whose crops had to endure a hot, dry spell soon after seeds were planted.

"Things are trying to be normal, but it's like turning a ship - it takes a long time to come about, and time is ticking for the growing season," said Dev Niyogi, state climatologist.

What rain Indiana received in May was not enough to offset the greater loss of water through evaporation from the ground and through transpiration in plants, the climate office said. So the ground continued to dry out.

While dryness is expected to continue in northern Indiana, weather patterns in the central and southern counties could vary more because of the greater potential for rain from storms during the hurricane season – now under way – along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.


Purdue agriculture experts sized up the development of Indiana's corn crop to date, saying that some of the state's early-planted corn crop is already showing signs of drought stress, including wilting and leaf rolling.

Plant mortality also has reduced populations in some fields, and root growth has been restricted. Because the crop is still young, however, a return to more normal growing conditions could turn the crop around – but it would need to happen soon.  FG

—From Ag Answers