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Fieldwork window coming?

A soggy field is shown in Central Illinois over the weekend / CIFN photo.

CHAMPAIGN – It appears a drier period is setting in at least for early April and that’s welcome news for farmers.

The 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows elevated odds of below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across the state in the short term.

“Soils across Illinois, but particularly in southern Illinois, would benefit from a couple of dry weeks even if temperatures are below normal,” said State Climatologist Trent Ford in his weekly weather summary.

The longer term outlook for the remainder of April, May and June shows elevated odds of wetter than normal conditions maintaining the risk of flooding and excess water issues this spring.

Nationally, spring is going to come into “full swing” early this month, according to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. Above normal temperatures are expected virtually nationwide with maybe a pocket of cooler air in certain spots.

“Probably the best piece of news agriculturally is a lot of areas of the country are going to start drying out a bit,” Rippey noted.

Through April 6, a large chunk of the country is expected to see near or below normal precipitation. This is especially good news for the Midwest as we anticipate some drying with the warmer weather along with less precipitation. The Pacific northwest is expected to remain wet during this time.

“We also may get some much needed rain across the deep south from Texas to Florida,” added Rippey.

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