USDA: Outlook Calls for Cool, Showery Weather in Midwest

September 20, 2011 03:15 PM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, rain showers are spreading into the upper Mississippi Valley, but mild, dry weather favors early-season harvest efforts across the remainder of the Midwest. "The corn harvest is within five percentage points of the five-year average in Missouri (34% harvested), Illinois (11%), Indiana (4%), Iowa (3%) and Nebraska (2%)," USDA says. In the wake of the Sept. 15 freeze, USDA reports the percentage of corn and soybeans rated in good to excellent condition fell 7 to 10 points (from Sept. 11 to 18) in North Dakota and Minnesota.

In the West, warm, dry weather continues to promote crop maturation and fieldwork, USDA says. "Among major production states, Washington leads the nation with 47% of its winter wheat planted by Sept. 18," USDA reports.

On the Plains, a chilly rain is falling in parts of the Dakotas, while warm, dry weather prevails across the southern half of the region, USDA says. "Despite recent topsoil moisture improvements, winter wheat planting is well behind schedule in Oklahoma (4% planted by September 18, compared to the five-year average of 16%) and Texas (8% planted, compared to the average of 21%)," USDA reports.

In the South, mild, dry weather prevails from the Delta westward, USDA says, while showers are spreading into the southern Atlantic States. "Southern winter wheat planting is getting underway, while harvest activities for crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans are ongoing as conditions permit," USDA adds.

According to USDA's outlook, a cold front will linger in the vicinity of the Atlantic Seaboard. "Meanwhile, a disturbance currently centered over North Dakota will drift southeastward before stalling over the Midwest," USDA adds. As a result, cool, showery weather will affect the Midwest, while wet weather will persist in the East, USDA explains. "Most of the remainder of the U.S. will experience dry weather through week’s end. Warmth in the West will gradually expand eastward, reaching the High Plains later in the week," USDA says.

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