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Weather challenges as optimal corn planting window closes

Delays in planting and emergence as the weather continues to be difficult.

Corn planting and emergence continue to run well behind last year and the 5-year average pace, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture due mainly to poor weather this season. Unfortunately, the optimal window for corn planting closed in mid-May for much of the Corn Belt, so many areas are already past the optimal plant date with more seeds to sow. 

In the third week of May 2022, week-ending May 21st, this was the ninth warmest and 14th wettest third week of May in 30+ years for the Corn Belt, according to data from WeatherTrends360. Planting was done in between the raindrops last week as several days brought showers and thunderstorms across the Corn Belt. A surge of cold air at the end of the week brought a frost and freeze threat to the Northern and High Plains.

A map of Corn Belt conditions
Photo credit: WeatherTrends360

In the final full week of May 2022 – week ending on May 28 – temperatures turn colder than normal for much of the week, finally warming up by the Memorial Day holiday weekend. This is forecast to be the eighth coldest and 16th driest final week of a retail May in 30+ years, according to data from WeatherTrends360. 

Portions of the central and eastern Corn Belt will see the threat of the heaviest rain forcing farmers to, once again, plant in between the raindrops. The Northern Plains and Upper Midwest will see the best chance of drier than normal weather.

Colder weather could delay crop emergence, especially in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. However, much warmer weather arrives late in the week and into the holiday weekend, which should help to warm soils to ideal levels for germination.



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