Katrina dominates farmers' weather outlook

Aug. 30, 2005 at 1:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Hurricane Katrina flattened sugarcane crops in southeastern Louisiana and damaged broiler houses in Mississippi and Alabama.

Cotton crops in the Mississippi River Delta were spared a direct strike, the U.S. Agriculture Department reported Tuesday. But open cotton bolls were vulnerable to damage from rain and wind.

Before Katrina hit Florida and the Gulf Coast, above-normal temperatures across most of the nation late last week favored summer crop development.

Even in the northern Corn Belt and northern Great Plains, where temperatures averaged below normal, crops progressed rapidly. In the southwestern and central Corn Belt and central and southern Great Plains, heavy precipitation improved crop conditions but hindered fieldwork.

Dry weather from the Pacific Northwest across the northern Rocky Mountains to the northern Great Plains favored small grain harvest.

Across the Southeast, hot, humid conditions and abundant soil moisture were favorable for crop development, while rain in the Mississippi Delta provided some relief from recent dryness.

The Southwest was mostly dry, with the exception of some monsoon showers in Arizona and New Mexico.

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