March Crop Production: Weather Summary

March 10, 2011 01:12 AM

Many parts of the country experienced opposite weather regimes during the first and second halves of the month. For example, the West turned cool and wet in mid-February, following an extended period of mild, dry weather.

Variable weather conditions also affected the Plains, where two severe cold outbreaks were followed by record-breaking warmth. Of particular concern was winter wheat on the central and southern High Plains, which - in addition to the February temperature swings - has been adversely affected by drought. From November 28 to February 27, the portion of the winter wheat crop rated in very poor to poor condition increased from 26 to 56 percent in Texas, 8 to 42 percent in Oklahoma, and 25 to 40 percent in Kansas.
In contrast, snow continued to accumulate across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, increasing the likelihood of spring flooding. Flooding was a more immediate concern in the central and eastern Corn Belt, where melting snow and late-February downpours pushed many creeks and rivers out of their banks.
Elsewhere, parts of the Mid-South and Southeast experienced some February drought relief, but drought continued to expand and intensify in southern Florida and the western and central Gulf Coast States.

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