Warm and Wet Weather Forecast for April

It’s beginning to feel and look more like spring outside, and farmers are starting to prepare for the 2019 planting season. According to Nutrien Ag Solutions Senior Atmospheric Scientist Eric Snodgrass, this April will be much different than last year. “The jet stream is setting up for the eastern two-thirds of the country to carry a warm bias. But with that comes some spring-like storm systems,” says Snodgrass.

While the weather may be warmer in April, the month could also be wet in parts of the Midwest. Snodgrass says finding opportune planting windows could be challenging at times. “With the equipment and skill farmers have today, they’ll get the crop in. May is a different story. To say this May is going to carry a cold bias isn’t in the cards, but it looks like the month could be wetter than average.”


(Source: Red River Farm Network)

A Slow Start to Spring

After a long, tough fall, farmers are hoping for an early spring. DTN meteorologist Bryce Anderson did not paint a very optimistic picture during the Northern Corn and Soy Expo. “I’m concerned about spring being late to get underway. We’ve had a big influence by a pretty large-scale round of low pressure, and there is fairly extensive snow cover.”
In many cases, farmers were not able to apply fertilizer this fall. “For our company, we had about 40 percent of an average fall,” said Paul Coppin, general manager, Valley United Cooperative. “That puts the pressure on everybody this spring; we’re against the gun here and are hoping and praying for a nice early spring.” 
Farmers are encouraged to discuss their 2019 plans with their input suppliers, but “it’s hard to talk seed and fertilizer when they’re looking at snow and more snow.” The unrelenting snow has also impacted the farmers’ ability to haul grain to their local grain elevator.
Anderson goes on to say the weather for the growing season itself looks better. “For May, June and July, I think we will have fairly mild temps that will allow Growing Degree Days to accumulate. The biggest issue is getting crops into the ground.”