Corn Belt could see wet and warm planting season

An ag meteorologist says farmers in parts of the Corn Belt could be in for a wet and warm planting season.

Michael Clark with Indiana-based says models indicate a drift back into an El Nino weather pattern during late spring and early summer.  “I think severe weather could be active,” he says.  “Especially in the eastern and southern parts of the Corn Belt and the southern United States – especially for February and March.  And that depends on how quickly El Nino onsets – and I’m leaning towards May or June right now.”

But right now, he tells Brownfield moisture is needed in other parts of the country.  “Areas I’m concerned with right now are Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, and western Illinois,” he says.  “Some of those places have only picked up 50 percent of their normal rainfall in the last 90 days.”

Clark says that could be very problematic as the planting season gets close.  “Right now there are areas of D2 and D3 drought in eastern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas,” he says.  “And most of Missouri is still abnormally dry.”

He says forecasts show that part of the country could remain dry – and the active precipitation pattern moves east.

AUDIO: Michael Clark,

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