USDA: Weekend Freezes Likely in the Upper Midwest

September 20, 2012 03:18 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, widespread soil moisture shortages are delaying winter wheat planting, with severe to exceptional drought firmly entrenched from South Dakota and Wyoming into Texas. "However, recent showers have improved soil moisture on the Southern Plains, benefiting rangeland, pastures and newly-planted winter grains," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says late-summer heat and dryness are discouraging producers from winter wheat planting, especially in Idaho and Oregon. "Fieldwork continues at a rapid pace elsewhere in the region," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, showers linger in northern crop districts, slowing fieldwork and summer crop maturation, according to USDA. "Cool, drier weather prevails elsewhere following recent beneficial rainfall," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA says dry, cool weather is promoting summer crop drydown and seasonal fieldwork. "However, showers linger in Florida along a stalled frontal boundary," USDA reports.

USDA's outlook says dry weather will prevail across most of the nation into the weekend. "Rain chances will be greatest along a stalled frontal boundary in southern Florida, while a series of disturbances will maintain unsettled, increasingly cool conditions in the Midwest," USDA explains. Cold weather will also settle into eastern portions of the northern and central Plains, with weekend freezes likely across the Dakotas and upper Midwest, according to USDA. "Otherwise, dry, warmer weather will return to the southern and eastern U.S., although a slow-moving cold front will usher chilly conditions into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by early next week," USDA reports. Out west, USDA says sunny skies and above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast. "In addition, the prognosis for drought relief on the Plains is bleak, with no appreciable rainfall expected over the next five days," USDA explains.


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