Major Weather Shift Across Midwest to Affect Crop Development and Planting Prospects

Colder than normal weather conditions affecting crop development
Colder than normal weather conditions affecting crop development

An article from reports a major shift in weather will delay improvements in conditions needed before crop fieldwork and planting can be done. According to the USDA’s Agricultural Weather Highlights, which gives an outlook of forecast patterns across the U.S., the Midwest is experiencing rain and heavy snow as a slow-moving storm moves across the region, information that could affect farming in the Midwest region in particular.

MDA Weather Services Senior Ag Meteorologist Kyle Tapley says the “huge swing in temperatures [50 to 70 degrees] will stress the wheat crop across the central and southern Plains.” An article from Reuters further predicts heavy rainfall and snow in some parts of the Midwest will slow corn plantings that are far behind yearly averages. According to Tapley, the weather shift, which will keep conditions wet and cool into this coming weekend, will be a deterrent to future crop development and planting prospects.

However, Tapley claims, once the slow-moving storm has passed through the Midwest, conditions will return to a warmer, drier state. “The 6- to 10-day period has trended drier across the center and western Midwest,” he says, “but given the cool temperatures expected over the next 10 days, it will take some time for soils to dry out enough to allow corn planting to resume.”

The USDA predicts the threat of “heavy snow” from the eastern-central Plains into the upper Midwest will soon diminish. While it remains to be seen what kind of impact the storm will have on actual crops, sources say the current weather conditions are delaying crop fieldwork and planting schedules.