Stalled fieldwork now accelerating in the Midwest

Stalled fieldwork now accelerating in the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are overspreading the northern tier of the region, from Minnesota to Michigan, slowing a previously torrid planting pace. In Minnesota, nearly half (49%) of the intended corn acreage was planted during the week ending May 14, along with 45% of the sugarbeets and 43% of the soybeans. Meanwhile, previously stalled fieldwork is gradually accelerating in the southern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, a disturbance crossing the northern half of the region is producing widespread showers and slowing a previously rapid planting pace. During the week ending May 14, one-quarter of North Dakota’s intended soybean acreage was planted, along with 27% of the spring wheat and 35% of the corn. Meanwhile, mild, breezy weather prevails across central and southern Plains.

In the South, warm, dry weather is ideal for fieldwork and crop development. However, concerns include significant short-term drought in the lower Southeast, and pockets of developing dryness and drought west of the Mississippi River—especially in parts of Texas.

In the West, a strong, late-season storm is resulting in very cool weather and widespread showers in the Pacific Northwest. Below-normal temperatures also cover the remainder of the western U.S., maintaining a slow crop development pace. Planting progress remains significantly behind schedule for California crops such as cotton (55% planted on May 14, vs. the 5-year average of 91%) and rice (27% planted vs. the average of 57%).

Back-to-back storms will cross the western and central U.S., maintaining showery weather in all areas except the Desert Southwest and the Atlantic Coast States. Five-day rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches from the southern Plains into the upper Midwest, along with possible severe thunderstorms and flooding. Meanwhile, 1- to 3-inch totals can be expected in some areas from the Pacific Northwest to the northern and central Rockies, with higher elevations experiencing snow. Cool weather will accompany the storm systems, but warmth will prevail in the eastern U.S. and return by week’s end across the Pacific Coast States.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures in the eastern and western U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions can be expected across the nation’s mid-section. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Northwest and the Dakotas.

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