USDA: Warm Temps Promotes Phenomenal Pace of Wheat Development

May 1, 2012 03:27 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warm weather prevails, except for below-normal temperatures on Montana's High Plains. "In most areas, a phenomenal pace of winter wheat development continues; for example, 74% of the Kansas crop had headed by April 29, compared to the five-year average of 7%," according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports cool conditions persist along the Pacific Coast and throughout the Northwest. "Planting progress and crop emergence continues to lag the normal pace in California and the Northwest," USDA says, explaining, "For example, only 2% of California's rice had been planted by April 29, compared to the five-year average of 20%. In Washington, 24% of the spring wheat had emerged, versus the five-year average of 40%."

In the Corn Belt, USDA says cool weather lingers in the Great Lakes region, where producers continue to assess the impact of the April 27-30 freezes on a variety of fruit crops. "Meanwhile, scattered showers and thunderstorms are affecting the western and central Corn Belt, with the heaviest rain falling in the middle Mississippi Valley," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA reports very warm, mostly dry weather prevails. "Later today, temperatures will approach or reach 90°F across much of the region, helping to promote winter wheat maturation and rapid summer crop development," USDA adds.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of the week, warmer-than-normal weather will dominate the nation. "However, exceptions will include California and the Northwest, where cool conditions will persist," USDA notes. Toward week’s end, cool air will also arrive across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, according to USDA. "Meanwhile, a series of disturbances will maintain unsettled conditions across the northern half of the U.S.," USDA adds. It continues "Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in the Corn Belt." Elsewhere, USDA reports isolated showers will dot the southern Plains, while a plume of tropical moisture will contribute to locally heavy showers from southern Florida to the central Gulf Coast.


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