USDA: Warm Temps on the Plains Promoting Rapid Winter Wheat Development

March 28, 2012 03:15 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, rain is confined to south-central Texas. Elsewhere, USDA reports dry weather and above-normal to record-setting temperatures are promoting a rapid pace of winter wheat development. "By March 25, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Oklahoma's wheat crop had jointed, compared to the five-year average of 50%. In Kansas, more than one-third (36%) of the wheat had jointed, versus the five-year average of 11%," USDA elaborates.

In the West, USDA says cool weather accompanies rain and snow showers in the Pacific Coast states. "Precipitation is especially beneficial in California, where March wetness has improved summer water-supply prospects," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, cooler air is returning to the Great Lakes region, but unusually warm weather prevails across the remainder of the Midwest, according to USDA. "In the wake of the March 26-27 cold snap, fruit producers in Michigan and Ohio continue to evaluate crops for any signs of freeze damage," USDA adds.

In the South, USDA reports warm weather favors a rapid fieldwork and crop developmental pace. "By March 25, corn planting was nearly half complete in Georgia (47%) and Texas (42%)," USDA explains, continuing "At least one-quarter of the corn had been planted in South Carolina (27%) and Mississippi (25%)."

In its outlook, USDA says during the second half of the week, another surge of cool air will arrive across the Great Lakes and Northeastern states, resulting in additional frosts and freezes—starting in northern Lower Michigan on Thursday morning. "Meanwhile, a disturbance crossing the central and eastern U.S. will produce generally light rain showers, with amounts in excess of an inch possible from Texas into the Mid-South," USDA reports. More significant precipitation will fall across northern California and the Northwest, where five-day totals could reach 4 to 8 inches, according to USDA. "Mostly dry weather will prevail though week’s end, however, from the Southwest to the High Plains," USDA reports. Elsewhere, USDA says above-normal to record-setting temperatures will continue for the next several days from the nation’s mid-section into the Southeast.


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