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Weather 'bad as it gets' for field work

04/18/2011 @ 1:52pm

When it comes to the weather for the second half of April, what we have in store this year for the Nation's midsection is about as bad as one could imagine for fieldwork. Extended periods of dry weather during that time frame are completely out of the question, and even stringing together as little as two straight days of completely dry weather is going to be a real chore.

 Most everyone in the Midwest will likely see more than two inches of precipitation over the next two weeks, but amounts will likely be five inches or more in that period for a large part of Missouri, Illinois, and nearby areas.

Severe weather is going to be a threat with this activity, with tomorrow looking to be yet another day this spring when we are going to see a lot of severe weather watches issued (with the eastern and southern Corn Belt likely being areas hardest hit). We are not done with snow yet either, with Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and northern Iowa likely to see accumulating snow over the next 48 hours. If this isn't bad enough, cold temperatures are going to be a big factor over the next week with especially Iowa and points west and north seeing temperatures in that period averaging ten or more degrees below normal. (We will see quite a temperature contrast across the Midwest tomorrow, with northern areas struggling to make 40 degrees while southern areas reach the 80s).

With all of this in mind, we are looking at an exceptionally slow corn planting pace going into early May. I would look for the national corn planting progress figure to be six percent for this afternoon's report, which would compare to the 5-year average of 8 percent and a 17 percent completion pace of a year ago.

We may be 10 percent or less done with corn planting for next week's report, which would compare with over 40 percent a year ago and over 20 percent for the five-year average. We may not be 20 percent done with corn planting by May 1, and last year on that same date the planting pace was record-fast at around two-thirds done. What a difference a year makes!

Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved

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