Western Corn Belt can’t shake drought woes
It’s going to take more than a few rain showers to make up for the drought in these Plains states, however. According to Bloomberg, Mark Svoboda, the University of Nebraska-based climatologist, believes that an above-average rainfall is needed to replenish the soil, but producers can likely expect a deficit heading into planting season.
“We need a big spring, that’s the bottom line, because we don’t have the carryover going into 2013 we had going into 2012,” Svoboda said.
In the central and eastern Corn Belt, however, an excess of rain and snow is causing headaches as well. As of Monday, the National Weather Service reported that several rivers were at or near flood-stage in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.
According to The Weather Channel, the flooding risk marks an ironic end to a winter “spent fretting about drought.” Just one month ago, officials were warning that barge traffic on the Mississippi River could be restricted as water levels continued to drop.
"It's certainly a lot different of a picture than three or four weeks ago," National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin told The Weather Channel.