This week marks the first official days farmers can begin planting corn in many spots across the upper Midwest, according to crop insurance rules. But planting activity in most areas is still days, if not weeks, away.
John Dee, meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring, tells Reuters that widespread rainfall in the Midwest and Plains this week could mean 1 to 2 inches or more of rain in many areas. The precipitation could be in the form of snow in the Dakotas and western Nebraska with 6 to 12 inches possible.
And Dee says another round of wet weather is expected in the crop region early next week, further slowing corn plantings.
The good news is that drought conditions are retreating slowly in the Plains. MDA Weather Services meteorologist Don Keeney says that at the end of March, 6 to 8 inches of rain were needed to bring soil moisture levels back to normal in much of Nebraska and a corner of northeast Kansas.
He says 2 to 4 inches were needed in the balance of the central Plains and western Iowa.