More wet weather parts of the Corn Belt; new showers develop on the Plains, storms south

Across the Corn Belt, lingering showers will sustain a slow pace of fieldwork, although Midwestern producers in and around Illinois may see a window of opportunity for planting.  As of May 13, Illinois farmers had planted 42% of their corn (versus the 5-year average of 56%) and 39% of their soybeans (43% on average).

On the Plains, strong thunderstorms, with the possibility of excessive rain and hail, may develop during Wednesday in southern farming areas, with the highest probability centered over Oklahoma.  Farther north, rain will intensify over the Red River Valley before moving eastward and dissipating. 

In the South, warm, sunny weather is forecast from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Atlantic Coast, supporting planting of cotton, peanuts, and other summer crops before the next round of stormy weather reaches the region.  A trailing cold front is generating strong storms, with the potential for tornadoes, over Florida.

In the West, warm, sunny weather is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork, including cotton planting in California and Arizona.  Similarly, conditions in interior farming areas of the Northwest favor small grain development, although the generally warm conditions regionwide are also causing a high degree of snow melt.

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