Wet Year Was Challenging
The year 2019 will likely be remembered as the year of weather challenges by area farmers and ranchers.
It all began with over 90 inches of snow that made for extremely wet conditions and limited acres that were planted. Then came steady rains throughout the summer and into the harvest season. That moisture drowned out some crops that had been planted and also resulted in a number of corn fields that still remain unharvested due to wet fields and crops that did not dry out.
The numbers back up the conditions. In every month of 2019, with the exception of November, moisture totals surpassed the 100-year average. The total moisture for the year was 31.67 inches, the seventh wettest since records began being kept in Britton in 1903.
During the six-month growing and harvest period from May through October Doug Oelkers Records of Britton measured 24.38 inches of moisture. That compares to the 100-year average during those same months of just 15.21 inches, over nine inches less.
September and October saw some of the biggest rains which made it extremely difficult to get combines into fields. September’s rainfall of 5.98 inches was the third most in history since 1903, and the combined September-October total of 9.58 inches was 6.19 inches above the 100-year average.
All of that came on the heels of what was a relatively wet year in 2018 that saw 10.64 inches of rain fall in July on the way to 26.21 inches for the year.
The end result is that there is still corn in the fields, water is still running over Hickman and White Lake Dams in the county, the area has already received significant snowfall, and all signs point to another very wet spring in 2020.