Cool, damp weather across much of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, a Frost Advisory was in effect early Thursday from eastern South Dakota to northern Lower Michigan. Meanwhile, a chilly rain is falling in parts of the central Corn Belt. Although nearly one-third (29%) of the intended U.S. corn acreage was planted during the week ending May 2, emergence has been slowed by the sudden cool spell.

On the Plains, dry weather favors fieldwork, including summer crop planting. By May 2, sorghum planting was just underway in Oklahoma (3% complete) and Nebraska (1%). Across much of the region, cool weather is slowing the development of winter wheat, which nationally was 27% headed—versus 34% on average—on May 2.

In the South, showers are mostly confined to northern Florida. Aside from warm, humid conditions across Florida’s peninsula, much of the region is experiencing cool, dry weather. Spring fieldwork—including corn, cotton, peanut, rice, and soybean planting—is advancing quickly, except in a few areas where soils remain wet or low-lying areas are flooded.

In the West, warm, dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching Pacific storm system. Thursday’s high temperatures will top 100° in the Desert Southwest and could reach 85° as far north as eastern Washington. Among major production states, Washington led the nation on May 2 in emergence for barley (58%) and spring wheat (63%).

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