USDA: Drought Still a Significant Concern for the HRW Wheat Crop

November 14, 2012 02:16 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, temperatures are rebounding to near- or above-normal levels. "Still, this morning's low temperatures dipped below 20°F in some snow-covered portions of the northern Plains," USDA explains. Farther south, drought remains a significant concern with respect to the hard red winter wheat crop; on Nov. 11, more than one-fifth of the wheat was rated very poor to poor in South Dakota (53%), Nebraska (42%), Oklahoma (38%), Colorado (31%), Texas (28%), and Kansas (21%), according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says light rain and snow showers are mostly confined to the interior Northwest. "Elsewhere, a return to mild weather favors fieldwork, including cotton harvesting in Arizona and California," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports dry weather prevails, despite an increase in cloudiness. Mild air is overspreading the western Corn Belt, where harvest activities are mostly complete, USDA explains. Cool conditions linger in the eastern Corn Belt, it continues.

In the South, cool, mostly dry weather favors late-season fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting, according to USDA.

In its outlook, USDA says little or no precipitation will fall through the remainder of the week from the Plains to the Appalachians. "In contrast, a slow-moving storm system will begin to affect the Southeast later today and linger into next week," USDA continues. Although most of the storm’s significant effects will remain offshore, rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches—with higher amounts possible near the Atlantic Coast—may occur from Georgia to southeastern Virginia, according to USDA. "Meanwhile, several surges of Pacific storminess will result in locally heavy rain and snow in northern California and the Pacific Northwest," USDA reports. Precipitation will spread inland as far as the northern Rockies and the Intermountain West, USDA explains. Mild weather will prevail nearly nationwide, except for lingering cool conditions in the Atlantic Coast states, USDA continues.


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