We are once again providing a soil temperature overview in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter through April-May 2021. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state have two- and four-inch soil temperatures monitored on an hourly basis.
1 shows that two- and four-inch soil temperatures have varied significantly in response to large swings in air temperature over the last seven days. Soil temperatures were approaching 50°F last weekend before this week’s cold snap had soil temperature retreating into the low to mid 40s. Our current warming trend is allowing soil temperatures to recover, with most sites across the state seeing daily averages in the mid to upper 40s (above 50°F at Western and Piketon). Warmer than average air temperatures this week should continue these soil trends.
Figure 2 (left) shows that most precipitation this week fell along and southeast of about I-71, with very light precipitation once again across northwestern counties. Dry conditions have lingered across northern Ohio all winter and have worsened of late, especially across northeast Ohio. Currently, 16% of the state is designated as having Moderate Drought Conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Column relative soil moisture compared to 2020 is down 8-20% across much of Ohio (Fig. 2 right), with the driest start to spring planting season since about 2016.