All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Most of the Corn Belt received only light rain, except for higher amounts (locally 2 inches or more) in the upper Midwest. As a result, corn and soybean harvesting proceeded with only minor delays across the central and eastern Corn Belt, despite near- to below-normal temperatures. In fact, weekly temperatures averaged at least 5-10° F below normal across much of the Plains, Rockies, and Intermountain West.
The cool conditions slowed winter wheat emergence and establishment, especially across the Plains and Northwest. Farther east, mild, mostly dry weather promoted fieldwork in the Atlantic coastal plain and the Southeastern States. Warmer-than-normal weather covered much of the East, with temperatures averaging more than 5° F above normal in portions of New York and New England.
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Heavy rain soaked portions of the nation’s mid-section, slowing or halting fieldwork but boosting moisture reserves for winter wheat emergence and establishment. On Oct. 14-15, rain (and some wet snow) hampered recovery efforts in the wake of the early-month Black Hills blizzard. Weekly rainfall totaled 2 inches or more in a broad area centered on eastern South Dakota and from central Texas into western Arkansas. In contrast, rain largely bypassed the southern High Plains, which have trended dry in recent weeks.