Drought-busting rain and snow sweeping US Plains/Midwest

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Crop-friendly rain and snow is blanketing much of the drought-stricken U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat region and the dry western Midwest, an agricultural meteorologist said on Wednesday.

"Widespread coverage of the Plains and western Midwest will occur in the next two days, including 10 to 18 inches of snow in much of southern Nebraska, Kansas and northern Missouri," said Commodity Weather Group meteorologist Joel Widenor.

Widenor said a second storm would arrive Sunday and Monday and focus just a bit further north but would bring more beneficial moisture.

"This will put a decent dent in long-term moisture deficits for drought areas," Widenor said. While cold air damage threats are low, the cold and snowy pattern will put stress on early calving in Nebraska and Kansas over the next 10 days, he said.

The chief bread grain hard red winter wheat crop grown in the U.S. Plains soon will break from its winter slumber and enter its rapid growth stage of development. At the same time, farmers are itching to get into corn fields to plant what could be a record crop, assuming big spring rains bring soil moisture reserves back up to normal.

Harsh drought conditions persisted in U.S. farm states over the winter but some improvement was beginning to surface thanks to recent rain and snow, climate experts said late last week.

The key farming states in the High Plains region remain drought-stricken, according to the weekly Drought Monitor report issued by a consortium of state and federal climatologists, although improvement was noted with severe or worse levels of drought at 82.51 percent of the region, down from 87.25 percent a week earlier.

A new weekly drought monitor report is expected to be released on Thursday.

Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather, said that as of early February, roughly 4 inches to 6 inches of rain is needed in Kansas, the top producer of hard red winter wheat, to bring the state out of drought status. And up to 8 inches is needed in a pocket of severe dryness in northeastern Kansas, a big corn and grain sorghum growing area.

Similar amounts are needed in Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Missouri and the northern reaches of Illinois and Indiana.

Significant winter rainfall and snow has eliminated the drought for now in an area roughly from Illinois eastward, according to Keeney.

The Senate Agriculture Committee was told on Thursday that 56 percent of the contiguous United States was under moderate to exceptional drought, twice the usual amount.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Kinze 1500 Grain Cart

The Kinze 1500 Grain Cart is engineered for speed and reliability required of custom harvesters. Load up to 1500 bushels ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form