USDA: Midwest Rains Too Late for Most Summer Crops

August 31, 2012 03:18 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, rainfall associated with Tropical Depression Isaac is spreading into the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys. "The rain is too late to help nearly all summer crops, except late-developing soybeans," USDA adds. However, the rain is highly beneficial for drought-stricken pastures and in preparation for winter wheat planting, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says isolated showers dot the Intermountain region, while cool conditions prevail along the Pacific Coast. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors crop maturation and late-summer fieldwork," USDA explains.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanies a late-season heat wave, USDA reports. "The hot, dry weather is promoting fieldwork, including winter wheat planting preparations, but maintaining stress on pastures and rangeland," it continues.

In the South, USDA says Tropical Depression Isaac continues to produce heavy rain. "At 4 a.m. CDT, Isaac was centered about 95 miles west of Little Rock, Arkansas, moving toward the north-northwest at 12 mph. Sustained winds have diminished to 25 mph," USDA elaborates. Most of Isaac's heavy rain is falling across Arkansas, southern Missouri, and western Mississippi, although a few downpours linger across Louisiana, according to USDA. In addition, USDA reports extensive lowland flooding persists in the central Gulf Coast region, including southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.

USDA's outlook says Isaac’s remnant circulation will drift northward into the middle Mississippi Valley by Saturday, then turn eastward across the lower Midwest during the weekend. "Additional rainfall from the Mid-South into the eastern Corn Belt could reach 2 to 6 inches, with locally higher amounts," USDA says. Farther south, lowland flooding will begin to subside during the Labor Day weekend in the central Gulf Coast region, where some locations have received as much as 10 to 20 inches of rain, according to USDA. Elsewhere, a late-season warm spell will continue across much of the country, USDA says, while scattered showers will generally be confined to a broad area stretching from the Southwest and Intermountain West into the upper Midwest.


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