CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Soil temperatures are warming up throughout the state this July.
Jennie Atkins, the Warm and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey, said the average temperatures in mid-July 2019 are higher than those of 2018.
“It is drying out right now,” Atkins said. “Very, very quickly.”
Scientists said the soil temperatures roughly four inches below the surface rose four degrees in the first half of July to a statewide average of 86 degrees. That is eight degrees above the historical trends and three degrees warmer than last year on July 14. Atkins said they have also seen soil temperatures more than 100 degrees.
There is still more moisture deeper in the soil, but some crops do not have deep enough root systems to reach the moisture, because farmers had to plant later in the season.
“If they have a very shallow root system, then yes, this is going to hurt them,” Atkins explained. “Because the top layer is two, four, eight inches, so they’re drying out and they’re drying out rather rapidly.”
The Illinois State Water Survey’s WARM Program collects soil information every day from 19 stations throughout Illinois. If you’d like to see daily and monthly data, click here.