Cold winter, high snow pack will impact spring planting start


Bryce Anderson has reported on a lot of weather over the years and when he says it’s cold, he doesn’t just mean it feels cold— he can tell you why it is cold, if it’s colder than it should be, and what that cold will mean for the start of the growing season.

Anderson is the senior ag meteorologist with DTN, and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney caught up with him at the Commodity Classic at Orlando last week. They were both quite happy to be out of the reach of the dreaded “polar vortex” and they had a lot to talk about.

February was very cold for many regions and a slow-to warm spring, high snowpack and very frozen ground could have a negative impact on spring planting. “The issue is going to be that the heavy snow-pack is likely to melt off before the ground can really warm up to take it in. And yes, I think we are going to see a pretty notable round of snow-pack flooding for this spring,” says Anderson.

He does see hopeful signs for good weather during the upcoming growing season, as most regions should see near normal precipitation he says, which should be sufficient.

It’s not great news for regions that have seen a moisture deficit over the past several years, such as the Palliser Triangle, though. Anderson says there will probably not be enough precipitation to restore groundwater levels to normal.

“The scenario in the Palliser Triangle is very similar to what we are seeing now in the Texas Panhandle of the Southwestern Plains of the U.S. … In that part of the continental U.S. the storm systems just simply move to quickly to leave a whole lot of chances for moisture,” he says.

Listen to the entire interview with DTN’s Bryce Anderson and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney, below:

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