Producers in the Midwest took advantage of a wave of high pressure and summer-like temperatures that swept across the country last week that allowed them to get started with field work.
"We saw the window of opportunity for planting and certainly producers in the Upper Midwest took advantage of that," said USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. "In Minnesota and Iowa planting at least 40% of the corn in one week, and we've seen a big surge in planting across the South with cotton planting getting underway or moving along."
However conditions have turned cooler and wetter. The first of two weather patterns has already gone through the Midwest and Southern Plains and eastward.
"We have a second storm lining up now over the Northwest," Rippey said. "And that is bringing some blizzard warnings to the Northern High Plains, including winter wheat areas across the north-central and northwestern part of Montana."
Rippey says those storms will eventually turn to rain as it moves east, and while southern farmers will be able to resume planting, this means further delays for planting in the Midwest."