USDA: Favorable Conditions for Overwintering Wheat in Plains

January 3, 2012 02:56 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Plains, unusually warm conditions are allowing wheat to overwinter with few concerns, although the crop remains exposed to potential weather extremes. Today’s high temperatures will again approach 60°F as far north as Montana’s High Plains.

In the West, mild, dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching Pacific storm. Dry weather favors fieldwork, including Arizona’s late-season cotton harvesting, but rain is needed in California to revive cool-season pastures.

In the Corn Belt, some of the coldest weather of the season prevails, while snow showers continue downwind of the Great Lakes. "This morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from around 0°F in the upper Midwest to near 20°F along the Ohio River. Fields are freezing in the eastern Corn Belt, allowing some producers to move ahead with final corn harvest efforts," it adds.

In the South, USDA says freezes were noted this morning north of a line from southern Louisiana to northern Florida. However, Florida’s winter agricultural areas did not experience a freeze.

In their outlook, USDA says most of the nation will experience dry weather for the remainder of the week. Meanwhile, mid-winter warmth will gradually expand eastward from the western and central U.S. "However, before warm weather arrives, freezes can be expected on Wednesday from the central Gulf Coast region into parts of Florida’s peninsula. Late in the week, some light precipitation will develop across the Southeast. Elsewhere, a period of heavy precipitation in the Pacific Northwest will end by Thursday," it adds.


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