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One of the wettest starts to May in 30+ years for the Corn Belt, WeatherTrends360 projects

Soil temperatures struggle to reach optimal range for planting as cold, wet weather continues into May.

As of April 24, corn planting for the 18 major producing states was running behind the five-year average, according to the USDA. A couple of drier days in the week-ending April 30 had farmers scrambling to get seed in the ground before rains returned. There is likely to be an increase week-on-week in acres planted, although major producing states like Iowa and Illinois have a lot of ground to make up. After two years of quick planting in 2020 and 2021, the weather so far this season has been less than favorable for the Corn Belt.

For the final week of April, week-ending April 30, 2022, precipitation trended the 13th least in more than 30 years for the Corn Belt, according to data from WeatherTrends360. Precipitation fell primarily in the beginning and end of the week with some drier days in between for fieldwork. Temperatures trended the 10th coldest in 30-plus years for the final week of April with some frosts and freezes across the Corn Belt. The colder soil temperatures will delay emergence once planted.

April 2022 overall was the coldest in four years and the seventh coldest since 1992 or earlier for the Corn Belt as a whole. While colder-than-normal trends extended across the entire Corn Belt, cold trends were most pronounced in the northern Corn Belt. Precipitation was the greatest in three years for the Corn Belt as a whole in April. Cold soil temperatures and wetter weather contributed to a delayed start to the planting season compared with the past two years and the five-year average. Snowfall was greater than last year in the northern Corn Belt with particularly heavy falls of snow and blizzard conditions in North Dakota.

The colder-than-normal temperature pattern continues into the first week of May 2022, week-ending May 7. This is forecast to be the seventh coldest start to May in over 30 years for the Corn Belt with further risks of frosts and freezes. Turning unsettled to start May with a couple of storm systems rolling across the Central United States. In fact, WeatherTrends360 projects that this will be one of the wettest starts to May in more than 30 years for the Corn Belt. This unsettled weather pattern is likely to further delay planting in the Corn Belt.

wt360 5/1 to 5/7/22

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