USDA: Dry, Warm Weather Advances Crop Maturation

September 24, 2013 03:47 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a few light rain showers are mainly confined to the middle Missouri Valley. "Elsewhere, dry weather and a slow warming trend are promoting summer crop maturation," USDA reports. On Sept. 22, Midwestern corn maturity ranged from 17% in Minnesota to 57% in Missouri, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says warm, dry weather prevails in advance of a strong cold front. In the Northwest, however, much cooler weather accompanies scattered showers. "The Northwestern rain is slowing fieldwork but aiding newly planted winter wheat," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says mild, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and fieldwork, including winter wheat planting. "On Sept. 22, Montana and Nebraska led the nation’s mid-section with winter wheat planting 49% complete," USDA reports. Hard red winter wheat planting was least advanced in Kansas (13% complete), according to USDA.

In the South, USDA reports locally heavy showers are developing in the Mississippi Delta, where cotton bolls open on Sept. 22 ranged from 16% in Missouri to 88% in Louisiana. "Heavy showers are also soaking parts of Florida, but mostly dry weather across the remainder of the region favors crop maturation and harvesting," USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA states the coldest air of the season will overspread the West during the next few days, but autumn warmth will prevail farther east—in advance of a strong cold front. "Precipitation will accompany the transition to cold weather in the Northwest, with significant, mid-week snow expected in parts of the northern Rockies," USDA explains. Late in the week, widespread precipitation will develop across the nation’s mid-section, with 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals expected from Texas into the upper Midwest, USDA continues. "Meanwhile, up to an inch of rain will fall in the Southeast, except for 1- to 3-inch totals across Florida’s peninsula," USDA details. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur in the Northeast and Southwest, USDA adds.

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