USDA: Cold Weather Is Halting Advances in the Winter Wheat Crop

March 22, 2013 03:47 AM
 

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, unusually cold weather is maintaining stress on livestock. "Once again, this morning’s temperatures fell below 0°F in parts of the upper Midwest," USDA reports. Some light snow is developing in the far western Corn Belt, across the middle Missouri Valley, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says isolated rain and snow showers are confined to the region’s northern tier. "Below-normal temperatures cover much of the West, but warm, breezy conditions are increasing the risk of wildfires from southern California into the Rio Grande Valley," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says cold weather prevails, except for lingering warmth across the southern half of Texas. "The return to cold weather has kept winter wheat dormant on the northern Plains and has slowed or halted wheat growth on the Central and Southern Plains," USDA reports. In addition, some light snow is falling across the middle and upper Missouri Valley, from Montana and the Dakotas into eastern Nebraska, according to USDA.

In the South, freezing rain is occurring across the Ozark Plateau, while a band of rain stretches from central and southern Arkansas into Georgia, USDA explains. "Just to the north, freeze warnings are in effect this morning in parts of the Carolinas and northern Georgia," USDA says. Elsewhere, dry weather favors fieldwork along and near the Gulf Coast, USDA adds.

In its outlook USDA says a developing storm system over the nation’s mid-section will reach the western and central Gulf Coast states on Saturday and intensify near the Mid-Atlantic Coast early next week. "Significant snow will accompany the storm from the Central Plains to the central Appalachians, including parts of the Ohio and middle Mississippi Valleys," USDA reports. Farther south, storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast, USDA says except for only light showers across Florida’s peninsula. "In contrast, little or no precipitation will fall during the next five days in the north-central U.S. and from California to western and southern Texas," USDA continues. Most of the U.S. will continue to experience significantly colder-than-normal weather into next week, except for a return to above-normal temperatures in the Pacific Coast states by Monday and the remainder of the West thereafter.


 

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