Listen to this article

Across the Corn Belt, cool, damp soils continue to inhibit most fieldwork. On April 28, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half surplus in Ohio (74% surplus), Indiana (66%), and Illinois (53%). Currently, rain is overspreading the western and central Corn Belt, halting fieldwork in areas where some corn planting has occurred. On April 28, Missouri led the Midwest with 45% of its corn planted, followed by Iowa at 21%.

On the Plains, wet snow is falling across western sections of Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as portions of neighboring states. Only 8% of South Dakota’s spring wheat was planted by April 28, compared to the 5- year average of 60%. Meanwhile, heavy showers and thunderstorms dot the central and southern Plains.

In the South, warm, dry weather is promoting a rapid fieldwork pace. On April 28, Georgia led the Southeast with 12% of its cotton planted, while Florida led the nation with 23% of its peanuts planted. However, planting delays persist in wetter areas of the Mississippi Delta, where only 34% of the Arkansas rice crop was planted by April 28—well behind the 5-year average of 65%.

In the West, a late-season snowfall is underway in Wyoming and environs. A broader area of the Rockies and Intermountain West is experiencing cool weather and scattered rain and snow showers. Meanwhile, very cool, dry weather prevails in the Pacific Coast States, with freezes noted at some interior Northwestern locations.

A dynamic, moisture-laden storm system will cross the nation’s mid-section through mid-week before drifting eastward. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches or more from central Texas northeastward into Michigan, potentially leading to widespread flooding. Snow, which will fall Tuesday across portions of the northern High Plains and adjacent Rockies, should largely end by mid-week. In contrast, little or no precipitation will fall in the Pacific Coast States and the Desert Southwest, while only light showers will affect the southern Atlantic States. In addition, Southeastern warmth will contrast with below-normal temperatures in most other parts of the country.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of warmer-than-normal weather in parts of the Northwest and from the southern Plains to the middle and southern States, while below-normal temperatures will prevail in the Desert Southwest, the northern Plains, and the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions across most of the country will contrast with below-normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest.

Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."