Growing season ends across parts of the Heartland


Growing season ends across parts of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, Thursday overnight freezes ended the growing season in several areas of the upper Midwest that had escaped the September 8-9 cold snap. Freezes extended southward into Nebraska and eastward across the northwestern half of Iowa. However, most corn and soybeans in the western Corn Belt are mature and in the process of being harvested. Aside from rain and snow showers downwind of the Great Lakes, cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest.

On the Plains, freezes were reported Friday morning in much of Nebraska and portions of neighboring states. Cool, dry weather throughout the region is promoting autumn fieldwork but reducing soil moisture for recently planted winter wheat. Among the Plains States, winter wheat emergence on September 27 ranged from 5% in Texas to 19% in Colorado.

In the South, locally heavy showers dot southern Florida. Across the remainder of the region, cool, dry weather favors summer crop harvesting—except in areas where wet soils are limiting fieldwork. On September 27, Louisiana led the nation with topsoil moisture rated 37% surplus, followed by North Carolina at 30%.

In the West, record-setting heat continues in the Pacific Coast States and the Desert Southwest. On October 1, monthly record high temperatures were tied or broken in locations such as Phoenix, Arizona (107°); Redding, California (106°); and Tucson, Arizona (103°). Across the West, nearly six dozen large wildfires in various stages of containment remain active and continue to cause a widespread degradation of air quality. This year has featured five of the six largest wildfires in modern California history, led by the 956,000-acre August Complex.