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Dry weather invades delayed planting season

05/06/2011 @ 9:31am

This has been a huge week for getting fieldwork done in Nebraska, and more is going to get done there today. Versus the other major corn producing states in the Nation, I think that Nebraska is going to see some of the lightest rainfall totals over the next week so any big stoppage in fieldwork there is not likely. In fact, I wonder how long it will be before someone in the marketplace gets worried about conditions that are too dry in Nebraska.

 The Drought Monitor yesterday put of a lot of the southern part of Nebraska in "abnormally dry" conditions, and over the past 90 days precipitation has been under 75 percent of normal for places like Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island. Clearly though the drought problems are mainly south of there, and they are not going to improve.

 Only eastern parts of the hard-red winter wheat belt have real rain chances over the next week, and that is mainly not until next Wednesday (though isolated severe thunderstorms may be seen in eastern areas as early as Sunday). 90 day rainfall totals in that area are incredibly low, at less than 20 percent of normal levels for places like Childress, Gage, Amarillo, and Dalhart.

It has been awhile since it has been hot in that area, but that will change soon as some spots may get to near 100 tomorrow and 100+ degree highs will not be uncommon for Sunday through Tuesday in especially western Oklahoma and eastern parts of the Texas panhandle. Clearly we will still be still cutting the size of the hard-red winter wheat crop with the weather that lies ahead.

 Getting a spring wheat crop planted is still a problem in the Northern Plains, and will continue to be a problem there as rain coverage and intensity increases there over the next five-six days and most of that area sees one to two inches of rain (or even heavier than that in southeastern Montana).

 Cold temps will dominate that area for the middle and latter parts of next week as well. In the Midwest, some light rains will be seen tonight and tomorrow, but the better rain odds are for late in the weekend through Wednesday/Thursday of next week. Northern and eastern parts of the Midwest will be favored for that rain, and eventually most of that area will see over an inch and a lot of places with more than two inches.

The warmest weather of the season will be seen for the middle of next week, but sharply cold weather will dominate the Midwest again by next Friday.

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