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USDA: Dry Weather Prevails Across Most of the Corn Belt

May 17, 2012
By: Meghan Pedersen, Pro Farmer Associate Editor

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, isolated showers across northern areas are providing beneficial moisture for winter wheat and spring-sown small grains. "Hot, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation's mid-section," USDA adds. "Today's high temperatures will exceed 90°F as far north as South Dakota," according to USDA.

In the West, cool weather is returning to the Pacific Northwest and coastal California. Farther inland, warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote fieldwork and crop growth.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says frost was noted this morning in parts of northern Lower Michigan. Houghton Lake, Michigan, with a low of 30°F, reported its first freeze since April 29. "Dry weather prevails elsewhere in the Corn Belt, except for a few showers across the upper Midwest," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA reports beneficial rain continues to provide limited drought relief in the southern Atlantic states. "On May 13, nearly half (44%) of Florida's rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition, along with 23% of Georgia's," USDA explains. Meanwhile, USDA says the winter wheat harvest is well underway in Louisiana (51% complete by May 13, compared to the five-year average of 8%) and Georgia (27%, versus the average of 3%), and has begun in Alabama (8% complete) and Mississippi (3%).

USDA's outlook says during the next five days, generally dry weather will prevail from California to Texas. "Meanwhile, occasional rain will linger along the southern Atlantic Coast, while scattered showers will spread from the Pacific Northwest into the Midwest," USDA adds. Some of the heaviest rain will fall in southern Florida (2 to 4 inches) and the upper Midwest (1 to 2 inches), USDA elaborates. "Elsewhere, a core area of unusual warmth currently over the nation’s mid-section will spread across the Midwest and Northeast by week’s end," USDA reports.


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