USDA: Showers in the Corn Belt Delays Planting, Boosts Moisture Reserves

April 30, 2012 03:12 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a band of showers stretches from Michigan to Missouri. "The rain is slowing summer crop planting efforts but boosting moisture reserves for pastures, winter grains, and emerging corn," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says cool, showery weather in the Pacific Northwest contrasts with warm, dry weather across the remainder of the region. "Warmth is especially beneficial in California, where planting activities for crops such as cotton and rice have been lagging the normal pace," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA reports scattered showers and thunderstorms from Kansas to Texas are benefiting pastures, winter wheat, and emerged summer crops. "However, drought-breaking rains continue to largely bypass the southern High Plains," USDA adds. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather prevails across the northern half of the Plains, following last week's beneficial rainfall, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says warm, mostly dry weather is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop growth. "Showers and thunderstorms are confined to southern Florida and the northwestern fringe of the region (e.g. northwestern Arkansas)," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of the week, a warm weather pattern will cover the majority of the U.S., although chilly conditions will persist early in the week along the Atlantic Coast. "Other exceptions to the warmth will include the Northwest, where below-normal temperatures will prevail, and California, which will experience a cooling trend," USDA elaborates. Meanwhile, a series of disturbances will traverse the nation’s northern tier, generating scattered showers and thunderstorms, according to USDA. "During the next five days, rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches may occur in the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and from the Midwest into the Northeast," USDA reports. In contrast, USDA says dry weather will prevail from central and southern California to the southern High Plains. "In the Southeast, significant rainfall will be confined to southern Florida," USDA adds.


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