USDA: Much Needed Rain Ahead for the Country's Mid-Section

October 4, 2011 03:14 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, very warm, dry weather west of the Mississippi River remains ideal for summer crop maturation and harvesting. During the week ending Oct. 2, USDA reports more than one-quarter of the soybeans were harvested in North Dakota (38% harvested in a week; 43% overall), Minnesota (32% in a week; 35% overall), and South Dakota (28% in a week; 30% overall). "Meanwhile, mild, dry weather is finally overspreading the eastern Corn Belt, following an extended period of cool, showery weather," USDA adds.

"In the West, markedly cooler air is overspreading the Pacific Coast States, while scattered showers dot the Intermountain region," USDA reports. Across the interior Northwest, USDA says rain is benefiting recently planted winter wheat.

On the Plains, record-setting warmth continues, particularly across northern areas, USDA says. "Today's highs will exceed 90°F as far north as eastern Montana and parts of the Dakotas," USDA explains. Nebraska leads the nation with 82% of its intended winter wheat acreage planted by Oct. 2, USDA reports. "In Texas, where producers are awaiting rain, only 25% of the wheat was planted by Oct. 2, compared to the five-year average of 49%," USDA adds.

In the South, dry weather (and a gradual warming trend) favors autumn fieldwork, USDA says. "Louisiana leads the U.S. with 80% of both its cotton and soybeans harvested by Oct. 2," USDA reports.

According to USDA's outlook, an important weather pattern change will bring much-needed moisture to the nation’s mid-section by week’s end. "In the interim, cool, showery weather will engulf much of the West, slowing fieldwork but boosting topsoil moisture and establishing high-elevation snow packs," USDA explains. Farther east, USDA says a prolonged period of warm, dry weather will promote summer crop maturation and harvesting across the eastern half of the U.S. One exception will be Florida, where locally heavy rain will develop late in the week.


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