Delayed planting season possible

A climatologist says a delayed start to planting is possible for portions of the Corn Belt this year.

In a spring outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling for a wet spring and improved drought conditions following decent snowfall this winter in many areas.

Dennis Todey with USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub tells Brownfield there’s a chance of flooding in the north.

“We’re really not sure at this point how much moisture has entered the soil. I still think we have fairly dry soils in the north, but we need to get rid of the snow pack and see where we are at.”

Todey says another area that could have planting delays is the Eastern Corn Belt, with the biggest risk in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

“They have a longer growing season though, so even if they plant into early June, it’s not a major problem, but there is some concern that if increased wetness continues, that will slow things down.”

Todey says soil moisture has improved greatly this winter in Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri, but the portions of Nebraska and Kansas currently in extreme or exceptional drought are expected to remain dry heading into spring planting.

NOAA also says the La Nina pattern has ended and expects weather in the United States to remain neutral until a transition to El Nino happens later this summer.

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