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Cold air blast headed to Midwest

Agriculture.com Staff 01/11/2011 @ 3:16pm

Bundle up. It's going to get cold in the Plains and Midwest in the next couple of days.

Arctic high pressure has pushed south out of Canada into the central Plains, and that will usher in very cold temperatures across the region, according to a Tuesday report from Rockville, Maryland-based MDA EarthSat Weather.

But, there's good news: Snow preceding the cold air mass' arrival is insulating Plains wheat from damage in many areas. However, according to Donald Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist of MDA EarthSat Weather, the snow may not be heavy enough to be much help.

"Snow cover is too shallow across western Nebraska, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas and far western Oklahoma, and some winterkill damage occurred to wheat this morning as temperatures fell well below zero," Keeney says in a report from MDA EarthSat Weather, adding he estimates that around 15% of the total winter wheat belt is seeing damage from the cold.

Another cold morning is forecast on Wednesday, when some additional damage is expected in far western Nebraska and southeast Colorado. Moderating temperatures later in the week should end winterkill threats to the Plains wheat.    

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