Wetness in the Delta and Eastern Corn Belt causes potential spring fieldwork delays

Ground-level comments support the satellite’s calculations. State crop weather reports at the end of March highlighted the following details for adequate to excess totals on topsoil moisture in the eastern Midwest: Illinois 91%; Indiana 98%; Ohio 99%; Michigan 98%; Missouri 89%. In the delta, adequate to excess soil moisture totals were 96% in Arkansas; Tennessee 96%; Mississippi 96%; Louisiana 86%. Basement moisture in general also shows high totals, ranging from 81% to 98% adequate to excess.

Generally, abundant soil moisture is considered favorable for agricultural production. However, adequate to excess soil moisture totals in growing areas of the eastern and southern United States strongly imply that waterlogging and muddy conditions may delay the start of planting.

The forecast for at least the next seven days is also concerning in this regard, with mostly below normal temperatures and moderate to locally heavy rainfall of one-half to 2 inches in the eastern Midwest and the Delta. The presence of La Nina in the Pacific Ocean heightens concerns about a slow start to fieldwork. La Nina in 2011 was also in effect when low temperatures, heavy rains and flooding caused parts of the eastern Midwest to remain unplanted until early June. A revision to this delayed planting scenario could be a headache in commodity trading, given the uncertainty already surrounding the global economy in the spring of 2022.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

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