As we head into meteorological spring in the US which begins on March 1 we thought it would be a good time to offer some comments on spring fieldwork and planting conditions.
The current weather pattern we have been in has basically been wiith us since the beginning of the year. After a weather pattern last December that had some El Nino characteristics to it we have reverted back to a very familiar and dominant weather pattern since the 2012 drought. That pattern features more of the phenomenon known as blocking which we have discussed at lengh during the past few years. This blocking feature (high pressure) in the high latitudes and this year more into the middle lattitudes forces the jet stream southward into the US from the polar regions. The result of this is colder than normal weather for much of the central US and in some cases a stormy weather pattern. This year we have been able to avoid much of the storminess with the east coast getting most of the action.
As we go forward into the spring we expect some version of this overall pattern to continue with no major features on the horizon to dislodge it. This would mean more in the way of below normal temperatures for the central US. However due to some relaxation in the southward penetration of the jet stream as we move into spring we would expect to see an increase in precipitation across the central US from south to north. We have already seen some stormy periods across the southern states recently and it looks like more of this precipitation will begin to expand further to the north with time. This would imply spring planting and fieldwork delays for much of the south-central US as well as the southern and eastern Midwest. It may not be all that active for awhile in the northwest Midwest and northern plains and with the lack of major snow in this region this winter major spring flooding may be avoided. This region may actually fare better from a fieldwork perspective once temperatures wam up enough to thaw the ground. than areas further to the south and east.
If this pattern were to continue into the summer you would have to assume rather favorable weather for corn and soybeans in the Midwest with no major heat or drought stress,
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