Beneficial moisture favors the eastern Corn Belt
Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather covers the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, widespread rain is falling across the southern and eastern Corn Belt, temporarily curtailing final harvest efforts. On November 22, the corn harvest was 96% complete in Indiana, along with 92% in Wisconsin and 91% in Michigan. On that date, Ohio (87% harvested) was the only Midwestern State with more than one-tenth of its corn still standing.
On the Plains, Tuesday’s thunderstorms resulted in localized wind and hail damage in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Early Wednesday, dry weather has returned across the central and southern Plains, except for lingering precipitation in eastern Kansas and environs. On November 22, prior to the recent precipitation, topsoil moisture was rated more than one-half very short to short in each of the Plains States except Oklahoma, hampering winter wheat establishment in some areas.
In the South, mild, dry weather in the southern Atlantic States favors late-autumn fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut, and soybean harvesting. Farther west, however, showers and thunderstorms are sweeping across the lower Mississippi Valley, trailed by cooler air.
In the West, most areas are experiencing dry weather. However, a new Pacific storm system arriving across the Northwest is producing scattered rain and snow showers. Northwestern winter wheat continues to benefit from recent and ongoing topsoil moisture improvements, but very dry conditions persist farther south. On November 22, topsoil moisture was rated at least three-quarters very short to short in Colorado (87%), New Mexico (81%), Utah (75%), and California (75%).