Planting progress improves across the upper Midwest

Planting progress improves across the upper Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather across the upper Midwest is helping producers make significant progress in areas where planting has been significantly delayed. On May 13 in Minnesota, planting progress for both corn (40% complete) and soybeans (11% complete) was at least 25 percentage points behind the 5-year averages.

On the Plains, warmth is promoting crop emergence and growth. Dry weather favors previously delayed planting efforts on the northern Plains, while beneficial showers dot the southern Plains. On May 13, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in Texas (72%), Kansas (60%), and Oklahoma (59%).

In the South, warm, humid weather accompanies widespread showers. One exception is the western Gulf Coast region, where hot, dry weather prevails. Although Southeastern showers are slowing fieldwork, the wetter conditions are easing concerns about short-term dryness that had developed in the southern Atlantic states.

In the West, widely scattered showers are occurring across the northern half of the region. However, melting snow continues to induce flooding along several Northwestern rivers, especially those emanating from the northern Rockies. Meanwhile, dry, breezy weather prevails in the drought-stricken Southwest; 100% of Arizona’s rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on May 13.

A non-tropical low-pressure system over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico will drift northward, maintaining the threat of heavy rain (locally 2 to 5 inches or more) from Florida into southern New England. Flooding may occur in the northern Mid-Atlantic States, where soils have become locally saturated in recent days. Meanwhile, unsettled, showery weather will also prevail in several other regions, including the Plains, Northwest, and upper Midwest, with 1- to 3-inch totals possible in a few locations. In contrast, dry weather will prevail in southern California, the Desert Southwest, and the western Gulf Coast region. Late in the week, cool air will overspread several regions, including the northern and central Plains, the upper Midwest, and the Northwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of warmer- and wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country. Near-normal temperatures will be mostly confined to central and southern California, while below-normal rainfall should be limited to southern Texas and along the Canadian border from Montana to Maine.

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