USDA: 4 to 8 Inches of Rain Expected for the Eastern Corn Belt

August 30, 2012 02:44 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in in the Corn Belt, hot, dry weather is promoting summer crop maturation and early-season harvest activities, but is maintaining stress on drought-affected pastures.

In the West, USDA reports late-season warmth continues to promote crop maturation and fieldwork, including Northwestern spring wheat harvesting. "Cool conditions are limited to areas along the Pacific Coast, while isolated showers are mostly confined to the Southwest," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says hot, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and fieldwork, including winter wheat planting preparations. "However, late-season heat also continues to adversely affect rangeland and pastures," USDA adds.

"In the South, Tropical Storm Isaac was centered 35 miles southeast of Alexandria, Louisiana as of 7 a.m., CDT," USDA explains. The storm is moving toward the northwest at 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to USDA. "Torrential rains persist in lower Mississippi Valley, primarily north and east of the storm's center," USDA elaborates.

USDA's outlook says the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac will drift northwest over Missouri and Arkansas before turning across the eastern Corn Belt. "Coastal effects, such as storm surge and salt-water intrusion, will subside, but inland agricultural impacts could include lingering power outages, fresh-water flooding, and degradation in quality of unharvested summer crops such as cotton, rice and soybeans," USDA explains. Along and near Isaac’s path through the central Gulf Coast states, storm-total rainfall could reach 7 to 14 inches (locally more), USDA adds. "In the middle Mississippi Valley and the eastern Corn Belt, 4 to 8 inches of rain will aid pasture recovery and replenish soil moisture in preparation for the soft red winter wheat planting season," USDA reports. Little or no rain will occur through the weekend across the remainder of the U.S., except for showers in the Intermountain West, according to USDA. "Much of the nation will continue to experience late-season warmth, especially across the northern U.S.," USDA continues.


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