Sep 19, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions Sign UpLogin

Winter Conditions Favor 2014-15 Crops

December 10, 2013
By: Fran Howard, Contributing Writer
corn stover with snow

However, drought still remains a big concern for some areas.

This year’s winter should be favorable for U.S. and South American crops, but pockets of drought remain a concern in the United States.

"A lot of the model guidance is leaning in the direction of an El Niño maybe late in 2014," says Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist. "But that certainly won’t influence conditions this winter, and it’s too early to speculate how it could affect crops later this summer."

With El Niño only a distant concern, the winter outlook is mostly favorable for U.S. crops.

Off to Cold Start

"We got a good kickstart to winter with cold and stormy conditions," says Rippey.

The National Weather Service is predicting that the upper Midwest and the northern Plains will likely have a colder-than-normal winter.

Currently there is an atypical weather system over the northern Pacific that has driven the jet stream south, creating cold weather across most of the country, says Rippey. At some point that will give way and temperatures in the southern United States will begin to warm, according to the National Weather Service.

Drought Not Over

"The drought has been halved since its peak in 2012," says Rippey. "Currently about 30% of the country remains in drought, though." Three areas of concern are California and the Southwest, West Texas, and the lower Southeast.

California and the Southwest could enter their third year of drought if conditions do not improve. The past two years of drought have taken a toll on reservoirs.

"If California and the Southwest go through another dry winter, they could have serious water concerns," he notes.

West Texas is already in its third year of drought and the area’s winter wheat crop is suffering. While West Texas is ground zero, this area of drought extends into Oklahoma, western Kansas and Nebraska, and eastern Colorado.

The lower Southeast, which consists of the south Atlantic and eastern Gulf Coast, had a wet 2013, but over the last 60 to 90 days the region has turned dry.

Previous 1 2 Next

See Comments

Log In or Sign Up to comment


No comments have been posted



Receive the latest news, information and commentary customized for you. Sign up to receive the AgWeb Daily eNewsletter today!.

Enter Zip Code below to view live local results:
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions