Spring planting is a few weeks away in the Northern Plains. South Dakota State University State Climatologist Laura Edwards says although there’s a deep frost depth in the northern part of South Dakota, the soil is close to the freezing point. As soon as there’s a long stretch of sunny, warm weather, soil temps will warm up quickly.
“We do need warmer air temperatures to make that happen,” says Edwards. “Also, looking ahead at average last frost date in South Dakota, as we get into late April, the southeastern part of the state usually has their last frost date. Further west, it’s mid-May. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw that pushed back later this year.”
To get corn planted, soil temps need to be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Looking at the winter wheat, the moisture we had will really help the winter wheat. Hopefully, that will help recover the poor crop conditions we saw in the fall and winter.”