Wake-Up Weather for March 4, 2009

Published on: 09:30AM Mar 04, 2009
Produced by Storm Exchange, Inc

Drought issues in hard red winter wheat:    Hard red winter wheat farms in Oklahoma and Texas have developed a 3-inch rainfall deficit due to very dry conditions since November 1st , but that may be difficult to overcome because of the dry climate in the western Plains.  Normal March rainfall in West Texas is only .87 inch and 1.25-1.5 inch in western Oklahoma.    Thus, early spring rainfall needs to be twice the normal amount in order to give wheat a chance to recover from drought.

Heat stressing Southern Plains wheat:  Warm, dry desert air is gaining a foothold in the hard red wheat belt.  West Texas reported highs above 70ºF for the past 2 days and hot air will be expanding north into Oklahoma and Kansas today.  Afternoon highs near 80ºF would be 12-15ºF above average for this time of year.  Cooling is predicted by Sunday, but a cool front that will  sink into the Southern Plains is not expected to produce any rain.

North Dakota snowpack:  Growers in the nation’s second biggest wheat state are becoming anxious for spring to arrive.  A heavy snowpack still covers the northeast half of the state, and it contains 2.5 to 6 inches of water, when melted.  The last time the snowpack was this thick was in the spring of 1997.  Resulting soggy fields that year delayed wheat planting and emergence by 10-12 days.

Midwest rain and snow on the weekend:  Heavy soaking rains will be returning to the Midwest on the weekend with wet snow in the eastern Dakotas, Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin.  A storm will be forming in northern Kansas Saturday morning that is projected to track rapidly northeast into the Great Lakes Sunday morning.   Precipitation may be heavy – in excess of 1.25 inches – from northern Iowa across Wisconsin into Michigan.

California drought prompts water restrictions:    Three straight years of drought is forcing authorities to restrict water to California’s Central Valley, an area that produces most of United States vegetables and nuts.  Federal water managers decided to cut off surface water deliveries to the valley for a 3 week period beginning March 1st, as a result of the deepening drought gripping the state, according to a Huffington Post report issued today.  Authorities said they haven't had to take such a drastic move for more than 15 years.

More beneficial rain in Argentina soybeans:  Strong thunderstorms that developed last night targeted Argentina’s top soybean provinces Santa Fe and Cordoba.  Drought breaking rainfall that began 5-6 weeks ago has breathed new life into soybeans that were just starting to set pods.  Argentina’s Agricultural Secretariat raised the total sown area to a record 17 million hectares from 16.5 million earlier, owing to late planted soybeans that were put in after heavy rains arrived.  March rainfall is especially beneficial for late-filling soybeans, roughly half the total crop area.  Our soybean production estimate is 46 million tons and 5% higher than USDA.

Rio Grande do Sul February rains subpar:  February rainfall was disappointing in the northwestern and northeastern areas of the state, where rainfall deficits of 1-3 inches occurred.  A February rainfall map from Brazil’s weather service INMET  indicated patchy dry areas in Parana,  where rainfall was 1-3 inches below average.   A dry finish to the growing season in South Brazil is expected to lower the overall soybean production estimate.  Storm Exchange predicts that Brazil soy output will land up near 56.3 million tons compared with USDA’s  57 million tons in February.

Produced by Storm Exchange, Inc