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Planting weather window flies open

Jeff Caldwell 05/11/2012 @ 8:56am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

A whole lot of corn ought to get planted over the next few days in the Midwest.

The 6- to 10-day outlook shows little to no precipitation in the Corn Belt, and that ought to allow some major planting progress, says Craig Solberg, meteorologist with Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., in Des Moines, Iowa. There will be a few showers in isolated pockets of the region over the next 2 days, but after that, dry conditions should prevail.

"In the Midwest some showers are forecast in the northwest and west today into early Sat., then farther south and east this weekend and into early next week in the Ohio Valley. Most rainfall amounts will in the 0.10-0.50" range, with some heavier along the Ohio River," Solberg said Friday. "In most of the west and northwest some amounts will be less than 0.10" and much of the time from Sat. afternoon into early next week will be dry. Below normal precip is forecast for all of the Midwest for the 6-10 day period."

Though some areas remain short of soil moisture, the recent overall wet trend in the last 2 weeks has made a difference. "Dry soil is corrected in most of the Corn Belt. Now, for a dry spell starting by Wednesday," Iowa State University ag meteorologist Elwynn Taylor said earlier this week.

Freese-Notis data do in fact show, with the exception of far western Iowa, Nebraska and the western half of Kansas and South Dakota, much of the nation's midsection has ample topsoil moisture. And, at least for Iowa, most of the state has seen an improvement in overall soil water levels over the last week, according to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

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