Ag Weather Forum

Return of Cold and Wet Pattern

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Northern through eastern crop areas stay with moderate to heavy precipitation through mid-April, but Southern Plains areas have almost no moisture indicated. (Graphic courtesy of NOAA)

A weather pattern that most producers are familiar with looks like it will again dominate this spring. Due to the strong high pressure blocking patterns in the higher latitudes, the jet stream across the United States is expected to remain stronger than normal. This is a recipe for cool and unsettled weather over the Midwest.

The good news is that, as we head further into spring, breaks in the pattern will develop and allow for planting progress. Also, due to the wet nature of this pattern, soil moisture supplies will be quite favorable for crop development. If this pattern continues into summer, it will be very favorable for corn and soybeans during reproduction and filling, due to minimal crop stress.

The aspect of this pattern that is not favorable is in the Southern Plains winter wheat belt. Due to the strong jet stream, Gulf of Mexico moisture is not able to flow back into the winter wheat belt. This has led to poor crop ratings in many areas. With little change expected in this pattern in the foreseeable future, and as moisture needs increase with crop development, the likelihood of a poor winter wheat harvest this year becomes more likely.

Despite wet soils in the Delta states, along with episodes of moderate to heavy rain, corn planting progress is running at or ahead of normal due to periods of dry weather and warm weather.

In South America, drought conditions appear to be relaxing in the major corn and soybeans areas of central Argentina. However, it will likely have little impact on improving crop conditions as the growing season is drawing to a close.

Meanwhile in Brazil, the rainy season continues in central crop areas. This is very favorable to developing second-crop (safrinha) corn. Most of the remaining soybean harvest is confined to Rio Grande do Sul under favorable harvest conditions.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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