Major to moderate flooding is likely this spring from the northern Plains southward to the Gulf Coast, with the greatest risk in the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Missouri River basin, and the Red River of the North, said NOAA on Thursday.
Between a weather-delayed harvest and uncertainties about the demand for their crops, farmers have been slow to sell corn and soybeans this fall. One consequence is tighter margins and revenue pressures on country elevators, said a report from ag lender CoBank.
A hard freeze is forecast across a significant portion of the western Corn Belt, with 14 percent of the U.S. corn crop and 5 percent of the soybean crop at risk of freeze damage, said forecaster Maxar on Wednesday.
In FERN's latest story, Michael Behar takes a close look at precision agriculture — cutting-edge tools like drones, satellite imagery and artificial intelligence that help farmers keep careful watch over their crops. In addition to improving yields, Behar shows how the technology also allows farmers to reduce water and chemical use. The story was produced in collaboration with EatingWell magazine.(No paywall)
The wettest spring in a quarter-century may lead to the largest crop insurance payout since 2000 to farmers unable to plant corn and soybeans, said a university economist. He spoke ahead of a USDA report today that will project the impact of a cold and rainy spring on this fall’s harvest.
The USDA announced a one-time change on Thursday to its rules on harvesting forage and grazing livestock on prevented-planting cropland. The move was meant to assure there will be enough livestock feed this year, particularly for dairy cattle.
Normally, the corn-planting season is over by the first week of June, but this year, 31 million acres — one-third of the intended corn land nationwide — have yet to be sown due to a persistently rainy spring. Soybean planting is also far behind schedule.
A larger-than-usual portion of the U.S. corn crop will be planted so late that yields could be depressed, said two University of Illinois economists on Thursday. “A reasonable estimate is that late corn planting in 2019 will be at least 5 to 10 percent above average.”
More than 19 million acres of corn were planted last week, thanks to generally favorable weather in the Midwest, according to the Crop Progress report released on Monday.
When the winter wheat crop breaks dormancy over the next few weeks, it will face arid conditions in the central and southern Plains due to an extraordinarily dry winter, said an agricultural meteorologist.
Little precipitation has fallen during California’s traditional wet season, so drought is likely across the state during the spring, said the National Weather Service. Drought was also expected to expand in Texas and the southern Plains, a key region for winter wheat.
There is a higher than usual risk of wildfire through April in the central and southern Plains, said Kansas State University scientists and the National Interagency Coordination Center, which studies wildfire risks.
Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida’s citrus crop in September, and now a hard freeze is possible in the northeastern portion of the citrus belt, says weather consultancy Radiant Solutions.
According to NASA data, 2017 was the second-hottest year on record, or the hottest year without an El Niño weather pattern, which drives up temperatures in the short term.
U.S. wheat growers already were on track for what was expected to be one of the smallest crops in years, and bitter cold this week is making the USDA projection look more likely.
With temperatures approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit hotter than the average temperature from 1981 to 2010, 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to a report published by the American Meteorological Society. Last year was the third year in a row for record heat in the U.S.
Even as human carbon emissions have stabilized in the past few years, researchers are seeing an increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists are worried that the Earth’s carbon “sponges,” including its forests and oceans, aren’t capturing the gas as efficiently as they once did.
Peach orchards in Georgia and South Carolina will produce a meager harvest this year, the result of a warm winter followed by a hard freeze in the early spring, said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "What does that mean for peach eaters in the Peach State? Probably only a shorter season," said the newspaper, as growers sell the fruit close to home and curtail out-of-state sales.