Across the Corn Belt, snow lingers across parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, while a few rain showers are crossing Michigan and Ohio. Midwestern winter wheat appears to be emerging from dormancy in reasonably good shape, with nearly half (47%) of the Illinois crop rated in good to excellent condition on March 30.
On the Plains, snow has ended across the Dakotas but unusually cold conditions persist. In contrast, dry, warm, windy conditions are maintaining stress on the southern High Plains’ rangeland, pastures, and winter grains. On March 30, well over half (59%) of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition in Texas, along with 44% in Oklahoma and 25% in Kansas.
In the South, scattered showers are maintaining adequate to locally surplus soil moisture reserves. Planting delays are occurring across the South for a variety of crops. In Texas, for example, planting by March 30 had reached 28% of the intended corn acreage, 21% for sorghum, 10% for rice, and 6% for cotton. Respective 5-year planting averages by March 30 for those four crops in Texas are 48, 38, 34, and 7%.
In the West, widely scattered rain and snow showers are providing very limited drought relief in California and the Great Basin. Despite recent precipitation, the average water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack stands at 8 inches, less than 30% of average for the date.