Which is a greater concern: Lack of soil moisture or snow?
SOUTH DAKOTA: Average snow depth (inches) 0.1. Winter wheat snow cover 95% poor, 5% adequate. Winter wheat 1% very poor, 11% poor, 47% fair, 38% good, 3% excellent. Alfalfa snow cover 96% poor, 4% adequate. Stock water supplies 1% very short, 7% short, 88% adequate, 4% surplus.
WISCONSIN: December average temperatures ranged from 6 to 8 degrees above normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 32 to 40 degrees. Average low temperatures ranged from 17 to 27 degrees. Full month precipitation ranged from 1.19 inches to 2.24 inches. The entire State received snow in December, but above average temperatures resulted in little to no accumulation in the southern portions of the State.
Warmer than average temperatures have left most of the Cornbelt and Great Plains with little to no snow cover on winter wheat, risking its ability to withstand unusually cold temperatures. While some scattered areas received abundant rains, many areas remain dry, with soil moisture levels less than satisfactory going into winter.
Source: FarmGate blog