For some crop areas, the first week of June offers a reprieve from what seems like a never-ending rainy pattern this spring. For others, however, the pattern just stays wet.
DTN's seven-day total precipitation forecast map Friday, May 31, that covers the time period through Friday, June 7, maintains a very wet pattern locked in over the Southern Plains. Forecast amounts of from 2 to 5 inches or more extend from central Kansas south to central Texas. This takes in some very high-production winter wheat areas, which are already facing loss; DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported Thursday that the Oklahoma wheat crop is already estimated to be down 20% from earlier estimates because of heavy rain and flooding.
Speaking of flooding -- the flow rate on the Arkansas River in Little Rock Friday, May 31, was measured at 3.2 million gallons per second. That is more than 20 TIMES the normal flow at Niagara Falls of 150,000 gallons per second.
Farther east, in the southern and eastern Midwest, prospects for better conditions this wet season are suspect. Take Decatur, Illinois, for example. Total rainfall for the seven-day time frame in our DTN forecast model is 1.21 inches, in periods of light-to-moderate showers almost every day for the seven-day stretch. When you put this rain on top of already-saturated ground, it means fieldwork chances will be very uneven.
Western Midwest areas have a better prospect for drier conditions. Locations such as Omaha, Nebraska; Boone, Iowa; Yankton, South Dakota; and Mankato, Minnesota, all have less than a half-inch total precipitation forecast during the next seven days. This should afford some progress after a slow start.
There are some definitely dry areas also when we look at all crop areas. The Canadian Prairies have moderate-to-severe drought indicated by the North America Drought Monitor. And in the southeastern U.S., dryness is increasing, with abnormally-dry-to-moderate drought covering much of the Carolinas into Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Similar conditions are forming in portions of the Northwestern U.S., especially in Washington state. These areas have very little rainfall, less than one-quarter inch, indicated through the next week.
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