All Eyes on Spring Weather

March 19, 2013 07:38 PM
All Eyes on Spring Weather

With planting season nearing, weather may make or break the 2013 crop. Here’s the outlook.

With March nearly half over, planting conditions and weather forecasts are top-of-mind.

In some southern states, planters are already rolling. "Corn planters rolling here," reports a southeast Arkansas farmer to AgWeb’s Crop Comments. "Temps could be a little warmer, but we take what we get."

A farmer from Fayetteville County, Texas, already has some corn up. "Our moisture is kind of iffy but our corn should come up. Soil seems very cold for Texas this time of year. The corn below was planted Feb. 22."

The Market Impact of Rain

Needed moisture in hard red winter wheat areas are lowering prices. Kim Anderson, Oklahoma State extension economist, says the biggest reason wheat price declined was improved soil moisture in both the corn and HRW wheat growing areas. "Moisture over the hard red winter wheat area trumps just about any other market factor."

Learn more about weather’s market impact and the spring weather outlook, with this video from AgDay:


Brad Rippey, USDA Meteorologist, says overall drought conditions are improving.

"So if you look at the major row crops in the Midwest, which includes corn and soybeans, we do have a fairly favorable moisture situation at least in the top soil moisture levels heading into Spring," he says. "The overall picture is certainly better than we were this time last year, especially for the Midwest. We still have a lot of concerns from California to the central and southern plains however."

Even though some areas of the country have put the drought behind them (See: Drought Conditions Cease in Eastern Corn Belt), many areas are still suffering. For a recent AgWeb poll, more than 1,800 people have shared their answer to: How long do you expect the drought to last in your area? Around 33% of the votes are for more than one year.

See the individual state results:

  • Red = More than 1 year
  • Orange = 6-12 months
  • Yellow = 3-6 months
  • Green = My area has recovered from drought

drought poll 


Check Your Weather Forecast

What’s in store for your area? AgWeb offers these weather forecasting tools:

Pinpoint Weather: A suite of information that lets you view weather conditions, forecasts and rainfall down to the field level. Among the more exciting features of Pinpoint Weather is its ability to track storm movements and speed. By rolling your cursor over the storm icon on the map, you can see where a storm is heading and what time it will arrive.

Daily Temperature Ranges: The daily high and low temperatures for your region.

Observed Rainfall: Precipitation levels within the last six hours.

Crop Moisture Levels: An index that tells you how much moisture is in the ground.

Long-Range Temperature Outlook: Will it be hotter or colder than normal during the next week, month, or three months? These charts show the future.

Severe Weather Forecast: Can you expect any weather hazards today? This chart outlines possibilities for floods, blizzards, and other dangerous conditions.

Palmer Drought Index: An index that measures drought conditions throughout the country.

Cumulative Rainfall: Check to see how much rain has fallen in your region within the last day, week, or even three months.


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