USDA: Widespread Moisture Shortages Delay Winter Wheat Planting

September 21, 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. "Recent showers have improved soil moisture on the southern Plains, although more rain is needed to facilitate winter grain establishment," 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 adds.

In the Corn Belt, cool, showery weather is slowing fieldwork and summer crop drydown, although dry, warm conditions persist in western portions of the region, USDA reports.

In the South, dry, mild weather is promoting summer crop drydown and seasonal fieldwork, according to USDA. "However, showers linger in Florida and are approaching the northern Delta along a slow-moving cold front," USDA adds.

USDA's outlook says a cold front currently draped across the Midwest will bring the coolest air of the season to the eastern half of the nation. "Despite the temperature contrast, rain associated with the front will be mostly confined to the Midwest and Northeast," USDA adds. Behind the front, hard freezes are expected from the Dakotas into the upper Midwest, according to USDA. "Out west, sunny skies and above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast, although some showers may return to the central and northern Rockies and eastern Great Basin by early next week," USDA explains. Meanwhile, USDA says the prognosis for drought relief on the Plains is bleak, with no appreciable rainfall expected over the next five days.


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