Lack of Rain Giving Southwest Jump on Planting

Midwest expects delayed planting because of too much rain.

Published on: Mar 13, 2008

Although winter wheat in Texas and Oklahoma is suffering from dry weather, producers there are getting an early jump on planting spring crops. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says the dry conditions are ideal for planting and many producers are getting seed in the ground so they'll be ready when rain does come.

"Already 37% of the corn is in the ground," Rippey says. "The five-year average is just 10% planted at this time. Same thing with sorghum, one quarter of the acreage has already been seeded compared with the five-year average of 9%."

Meanwhile, in the Midwest winter wheat is looking good from the frequent rain and snow of the past several weeks and months, but planting prospects are not so good. Rippey says the saturated ground and cool soils mean a delayed start to planting over much of the Midwest.

"We could obviously see a quick turnaround and start to dry out in April," Rippey says. "But at this point I think it's pretty likely that we're going to see some planting delays as we head into April in the southern Corn Belt."