Snow and rain shrink drought area of U.S. crop belt

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

Light snow fell in much of the drought-stricken U.S. Plains and Midwest crop region early Friday with a bigger storm forecast for late next week, shrinking the area hit by the worst dry spell in 50 years.

Agricultural meteorologists said on Friday that the more significant storm forecast for next week and early the following week will bring more needed moisture to the central and southeast Plains, Delta, southern and eastern Midwest.

"It will cover much of the Plains and the dry areas in the Midwest," said Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.

Keeney said the heaviest snowfall would occur in west central Nebraska, northwest Kansas and eastern Colorado but the rain would extend into the southern Plains areas including Okahoma and Texas. He said normal precipitation was expected in the second week of March in the central and eastern Midwest, but it would be drier in the Plains.

Commodity Weather Group said on Friday that about 2 inches (5 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm) of snow would scatter from the Northen Plains into the eastern Midwest by Monday.

"This could bring some slight moisture improvements to the Dakotas, southern Minnesota and northern Iowa," said CWG meteorologist Joel Widenor.

He said a slighter wetter forecast is seen for Nebraska and Iowa and moisture amounts will be a bit heavier than expected earlier in the Plains ranging from 0.25 inch (0.6 cm) to 1.25
inches (3.2 cm).

The much-needed moisture comes on the heels of two blizzards that slammed into the Plains hard red winter wheat region in late February, dumping up to 20 inches (51 cm) of snow or up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) of moisture in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle wheat belt. 

The blizzards boosted wheat crop prospects but also hampered cattle feeding operations with feedlot managers reporting weight losses of up to 100 pounds per animal.

Meteorologists said the significant winter rainfall and snow have so far eliminated the drought, the worst in 50 years in the United States, in an area roughly from Illinois eastward.

But more moisture will be needed in April and May to nurse the winter wheat crop to maturity and to aid the soon-to-be-seeded corn and soybean crops, meteorologists and
crop experts have said.

Keeney said that as of early February, roughly 4 inches (10 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm) of rain were needed in Kansas, the top producer of hard red winter wheat, to bring the state out of
drought status. 

Up to 8 inches (20 cm) were needed in a pocket of severe dryness in northeastern Kansas, a big corn- and grain sorghum-growing area. Similar amounts were needed in Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Missouri and northern Illinois and Indiana.

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 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

1325 Bushel Grain Cart

Equipped with a 22” computer balanced auger with 5/16” flighting,the unloading speed is 50% faster than smaller grain carts with ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form