A change in weather underway across the Heartland


A change in weather underway across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, a cold front draped across the region separates warm air from cool conditions. Wednesday’s high temperatures will range from around the freezing mark (32°F) in the Red River Valley of the North to near 70°F in the Ohio Valley. Producers in the eastern Corn Belt who have struggled with wet conditions during the late stages of harvest are taking advantage of the warm weather. Among Midwestern States, only Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio had more than 10% of both corn and soybeans still standing in the field on November 14.

On the Plains, cool, windy weather prevails. Wind gusts above 60 mph may occur Wednesday in parts of the Dakotas. Dry weather covers much of the region, but some snow showers are occurring in North Dakota. Dryness remains a concern on the High Plains with respect to winter wheat establishment; on November 14, topsoil moisture was rated 96% very short to short in Montana, along with 75% in Colorado and 64% in Texas. On that date, Montana led the nation with 42% of its winter wheat rated in very poor to poor condition.

In the South, warm, dry weather is ideal for late-season fieldwork. Wednesday’s high temperatures will reach 70°F or higher throughout the region. In North Carolina, 67% of the intended winter wheat acreage had been planted by November 14, while the peanut, cotton, and soybean harvests were 92, 71, and 66% complete, respectively.

In the West, a dry weather pattern is in place, following recent Pacific Northwestern downpours. Most Northwestern rivers are receding; for example, the Skagit River near Concrete, Washington, which on November 15 crested nearly 11 feet above flood stage in achieving its highest level since November 2006, has since fallen more than 8 feet. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors autumn fieldwork, including Arizona cotton harvesting—58% complete on November 14.