USDA: Widespread Lowland Flooding in Western Corn Belt

May 29, 2013 03:33 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms continue to halt most fieldwork, including corn and soybean planting. "Currently, the heaviest rain is falling in eastern South Dakota," USDA adds. Widespread lowland flooding has developed in the western Corn Belt — in an area centered on Iowa, northern Missouri, and western Illinois — submerging some low-lying fields and adversely affecting emerging summer crops, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports cool weather continues to slow crop growth, while showers dot the northern half of the region.

On the Plains, USDA says widespread showers and thunderstorms are slowing or halting fieldwork, but allowing for further recovery from long-term drought. "On the southern High Plains, however, extremely dry conditions are maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, winter wheat and emerging, rain-fed summer crops," USDA details.

In the South, USDA explains warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote fieldwork, helping producers to recover from earlier planting delays. "Significant shower activity is confined to southern Florida," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says a developing storm over the nation’s mid-section will maintain showery conditions across the Plains and Midwest. The slow-moving storm will drift northward into the Dakotas on Thursday, then slide eastward into the Great Lakes region by Saturday, according to USDA. "Along the storm’s trailing cold front, a multiday severe weather outbreak can be expected across portions of the Plains, Midwest and Mid-South," USDA reports. During the next five days, additional rainfall amounts could reach 1 to 3 inches on the northern Plains and 2 to 6 inches from the east-central Plains into the lower Great Lakes region, including the middle Mississippi Valley, USDA details. In contrast, USDA says mostly dry weather will prevail from California into the Southwest and along the southern Atlantic Coast, except for heavy showers in southern Florida. "Hot weather will prevail in advance of the storm, especially across the nation’s northeastern quadrant, while cool conditions will trail the system into the Plains and upper Midwest," USDA reports. By week’s end, hot weather will develop in the Pacific Coast states, USDA adds.

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