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Midwest Weekly Highlights - April 24-30, 2018

Still Cold

Temperatures remained below normal across a large portion of the Midwest during the period (Figure 1).  The coldest areas were in the eastern half of the region, where Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, eastern Illinois and Kentucky were 3-6°F below normal.  Iowa and Missouri were mostly near to slightly below normal.  Areas in northwestern Minnesota were slightly above normal.  While average temperatures were closer to normal in Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri, maximum and minimum temperatures were highly variable.  Maximum temperatures were as much as 5°F above normal in Iowa (Figure 2), while minimum temperatures were as much 7°F below normal (Figure 3).  More than 150 daily low temperature records were broken or tied during the period.  Most of these records were due to cold minimum temperatures through the mornings of April 29 (Figure 4) and April 30 (Figure 5).

Very Dry

Drier conditions were common across a large amount of the Midwest for the week (Figure 6).  Most of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and northern Indiana had less than a quarter of an inch of precipitation.  Only areas in eastern Kentucky and eastern Ohio had more than the normal amount (Figure 7).  One of the snowiest Aprils on record finally ended with only a small amount of snowfall in the arrowhead of Minnesota (Figure 8).

Spring Planting Increases

Warmer and drier weather allowed farmers to plant more fields across the southern half of the region this week.  According to USDA NASS, Missouri has planted 52 percent of corn planted through the week ending April 29, compared to just 16 percent through the week ending April 22.  Significant progress was also made in Illinois, where percent planted increased to 32 percent from 4 percent over the same period.  Most of the region remains behind schedule, however.  Only Missouri was above the five-year average, while Kentucky remained 20 percent below the five-year average.