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327713

Cold snapped: Prolonged warmth finally returns for planting in the Corn Belt

Planting should make swift gains in the second week of May 2022.

The weather continued to be a headwind for corn planting across the U.S. Corn Belt in the first full week of May 2022, week-ending May 7. According to data from WeatherTrends360, this was the eighth coldest and third wettest first week of May in more than 30 years for the Corn Belt as a whole. Cold and wet weather provided few opportunities for planting activities. 

As of May 1, corn planting remains well behind last year and the five-year average according to the United States Department of Agriculture. For example, the state of Iowa was only 9% planted as of May 1, 2022; this compares with May 1, 2021 when 62% of the crop was already in the ground. There is a lot of ground to make up in the next few weeks, and the weather will actually cooperate in the second week of May. 

A map of Corn Belt condtions
Photo credit: WeatherTrends360

The first real shot of prolonged, significant warmth, after a cool spring thus far, arrives in the Corn Belt in the week ending May 14. Widespread Summer-like temperatures in the 80s (˚F.), and possibly 90s, are expected helping to warm soils. Some areas, especially in the southern Corn Belt, could see record-high temperatures. According to WeatherTrends360, this will be one of the warmest second weeks of May in 30-plus years for the Corn Belt. 

Precipitation trends are also looking somewhat favorable for the Corn Belt as this is expected to be the seventh driest second week of May in the same time frame. The week overall isn’t bone dry for the Corn Belt – there will be some chances of showers and thunderstorms throughout the week. The good news is that precipitation will tend to be spotty as opposed to prolonged spells of wet weather. This will allow more time for fieldwork and planting activities. The eastern Corn Belt will see the best chance of dry weather. Planting progress should see a swift uptick in the week ending May 14.

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