USDA: Severe Dryness Has Caused Some Winter Wheat to Fail to Emerge

November 28, 2012 02:37 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, temperatures are rebounding to above-normal levels, following an early-week chill. Meanwhile, dry conditions are maintaining severe stress on winter wheat, USDA adds. "By Nov. 25, a significant portion (40%) of South Dakota's winter wheat had failed to emerge," USDA elaborates, continuing, "Even in Montana, where soil moisture has improved in recent weeks, wheat may have run out of time to germinate; 32% of the crop had not emerged on Nov. 25."

In the West, USDA says rain is overspreading coastal areas of northern and central California. "A few showers are also developing in the Pacific Northwest," USDA explains. Gusty winds accompany the increase in storminess, USDA adds. "Elsewhere in the West, mild, dry weather continues to promote late-season fieldwork," according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says dry weather accompanies a slow warming trend. "Still, this morning's temperatures fell below 25°F throughout the Corn Belt, with a few readings near 10°F in the upper Midwest," USDA explains. There are still a few fields left to harvest in the eastern Corn Belt; by Nov. 25, the corn harvest was 97% complete (versus the five-year average of 89%) in Michigan and 95% complete (vs. the average of 90%) in Ohio, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says cool, dry weather favors late-season fieldwork. "In North Carolina, for example, winter wheat planting was 79% complete by Nov. 25," USDA elaborates. On the same date, North Carolina's cotton harvest was 88% complete, while the soybean harvest was 65% complete, USDA reports.

In its outlook, USDA says the leading edge of an onslaught of Pacific storminess will continue to move ashore today in northern and central California. "Later in the week, heavy precipitation will also overspread the Northwest," USDA adds. During the next five days, USDA says precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the northern Rockies, 2 to 6 inches in the Pacific Northwest and 4 to 12 inches in northern California. "Most of the remainder of the U.S. will experience dry weather and a warming trend," USDA reports. During the weekend, temperatures will exceed 70°F as far north as Nebraska, according to USDA. One exception to the mild pattern will be a brief, late-week surge of cold air across the nation’s northern tier from the northern Plains to New England, USDA adds.

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