USDA: Return of Dry Weather in Midwest Favors Planting

May 8, 2012 03:14 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cool weather prevails, except for a return to warmth across western and central Montana. "Dry weather favors fieldwork on the northern and central Plains, but widespread showers continue across Texas and southern Oklahoma," USDA explains. Rain is especially beneficial on the drought-affected southern High Plains, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says warmer weather across California and the Northwest is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. "Today's high temperatures will exceed 90°F in much of California's Central Valley," USDA elaborates. In contrast, it says cool conditions linger across the southern Rockies.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports cooler weather prevails in the wake of a departing cold front. A few showers linger across the eastern Corn Belt, including parts of Ohio, USDA explains. "Elsewhere in the Midwest, mostly dry weather favors a limited return to corn and soybean planting, following a period of significant rainfall," USDA says.

In the South, dry weather continues in the Atlantic coastal plain, but scattered showers are developing across the remainder of the region, according to USDA. "Rain is still needed for pastures and summer crops in drought-affected areas of Alabama and the Atlantic Coast states," USDA continues. On May 6, USDA reports nearly one-third (29%) of the pastures in Georgia were rated in very poor to poor condition, along with 40% of those in Florida.

In its outlook, USDA says during the next few days, a slow-moving cold front will continue to drift across the South and East. "On May 8-9, rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches will be common in the Atlantic Coast states," USDA explains. The tail of the front will stall across the Deep South, resulting in much higher rainfall amounts (locally 2 to 5 inches) across the southern half of Texas, according to USDA. Elsewhere, USDA reports dry weather will prevail west of the Rockies through week’s end, while only light, sporadic showers will occur from the Plains into the Midwest. "One of the few areas of consistent warmth will be California, where late-week temperatures will approach 100°F in the Central Valley," USDA adds.


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