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Market watches wet, dry wheat weather

With regards to U.S. weather, the wheat market has its focus on two areas right now: the dryness in western Kansas and points southward, and the potential for a late start to spring wheat planting in the northern Plains due to spring flooding. 

With regards to the southern Plains, I noted yesterday morning that precipitation totals from this most recent weather event were going to be disappointing versus our expectations from back on Monday. Except for the Wichita area, most of Kansas is coming in this morning with 48-hour precipitation totals of under a half inch. The bulk of that area, but especially western Kansas and points southward, will see little or nothing in the way of moisture for the next five days and I would keep that same area in below normal precipitation for the 6-10 day time frame. 

It also looks like it is really going to be warming up in the Plains in the 6-10 day period, something that is likely going to start drawing a lot of the crop out of dormancy and thus increasing its moisture needs. In the northern Plains spring wheat belt, the concern is in regards to a late start to spring planting as that area has a big snow cover to melt off right now. 

At last check there was 13 inches of snow on the ground at Fargo, 10 inches at Bismarck, 11 inches at Glasgow, 15 inches at Aberdeen, 14 inches at Pierre, 16 inches at Sisseton, 17 inches at Williston, and an incredible 29 inches at Watertown to give you an idea of the depth of snow we are talking about. It is northeastern Montana, western North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota, and southwestern Minnesota that have the biggest snows on the ground right now. 

We will be melting small amounts of that snow in western areas tomorrow and in eastern areas for Friday before additional light snow (and a lot of blowing snow) is seen later Friday and Friday night. 

It is next week when we may see the first real attempt at melting off at least a part of the snow cover in that area. I have much-above normal temperatures in my 6-10 day forecast for the northern Plains, which should equate to a lot of 40s to even 50 degrees for highs in that area next week. If that verifies, snow cover will start to be lost and flooding problems may begin.

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

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