BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Greene County's official rainfall totals for the first five months of 2012 have been right where they should be at this stage -- average.
In fact, precipitation from Jan. 1 through May 31 is only .16 inch -- about the thickness of a penny -- above the normal average total for that five-month period.
The data are compiled by the University of Tennessee Research Center off East Allens Bridge Road, the county's official weather reporting station.
In addition to the actual amount of precipitation, what the county has received has been beneficial because of its frequency and consistency, local agriculture experts said Friday.
The UT Center recorded precipitation on 15 days during both January and February; 14 days in March; and 13 days in both April and May.
But there have been only two days so far this year, April 4 and May 15, when more than one inch of precipitation was recorded (1.60 inches on April 4, and 1.02 inches on May 15).
That means the adequate rainfall being received was mostly soaking in, and not running off, said Jake Haun, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Executive Director for Greene County.
Here are the rainfall/melted snow totals for each month so far this year, followed by the amount above, or below, normal for that month:
* January, 3.66 inches, .13 above average;
* February, 3.18 inches, .30 below average;
* March, 4.29 inches, .02 below average;
* April, 4.86 inches, 1.14 above average, and
* May, 4.71 inches, .24 above average.
"Overall, it's been pretty doggone good," Haun said. "It's kind of scary how good it looks.
"By and large, we've had days to get your hay up and your corn planted," Haun said.
Corn, in particular, is doing very well, he reported.
"Hay looks good, extremely good," Haun added.
Corn is already tasseling near Allens Bridge in southern Greene County, Haun said, and is already shoulder-high in some other areas of the county.
Haun said he knew of no real problem areas in the county at this point.
"It's better than past years -- no doubt," he said. "However, two weeks of 90-degree weather this summer could blow that all away," he cautioned.
Milton Orr, UT Extension director for Greene County, echoed those sentiments.
He said Friday that he knew of no drought spots in the county.
"From an agricultural standpoint we're in pretty decent shape," Orr said. "We couldn't ask for much better."
Efforts on Friday afternoon to reach Center Director Rob Ellis were unsuccessful.