Warm on the Plains; unsettled weather eastern Corn Belt


Warm on the Plains; unsettled weather eastern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, a few showers are overspreading southern corn and soybean production areas, mainly across the Ohio Valley. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather continues to promote summer crop maturation and harvesting. With 62% of its soybean acreage harvested by October 3, Minnesota is reporting its third-fastest harvest pace of the century, behind 84% on the same date in 2012 and 64% in 2015.

On the Plains, a late-season warm spell continues, particularly in eastern Montana and the western Dakotas, where Wednesday’s temperatures will approach or reach 90°F. Despite last week’s rainfall, most of the winter wheat-production areas need additional moisture to ensure even emergence and proper establishment. In Colorado, Kansas, and South Dakota, winter wheat planting is ahead of the 5-year average pace, while crop emergence is behind average. On October 3 in South Dakota, 77% of the wheat had been planted (average is 67%), while only 27% had emerged (average is 32%).

In the South, a slow-moving disturbance continues to produce locally heavy showers, mainly east of the Mississippi Delta. Early Wednesday, some of the heaviest rain extends northward from western Florida into the southern Appalachians. On October 3, the statewide peanut harvest was at least 10 percentage points behind the 5-year average in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, with harvest delays extending to other Southeastern crops such as cotton and soybeans.

In the West, cooler weather accompanies an increase in cloudiness. However, showers are mostly limited to the Pacific Northwest and scattered locations across the Intermountain West. On October 3, with drought covering 90% of the region, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, rangeland and pastures were rated at least one-half very poor to poor in eight of eleven Western States—all but Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.