A USDA meteorologist says drought-wise the nation as whole is doing better than at this time last year.
While half the nation is still experiencing drought, USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says things look better now than during last spring.
"So if you look at the major row crops in the Midwest, which includes corn and soybeans, we do have a fairly favorable moisture situation at least in the top soil moisture levels heading into Spring," Rippey said. "The overall picture is certainly better than we were this time last year, especially for the Midwest. We still have a lot of concerns from California to the central and southern plains however."
Rippey says a lack of moisture from Texas to the west coast has kept things there dry.
"It will take a sustained period of cool, damp weather during the Spring and unfortunately long-range weather prognostications do not favor a whole lot of additional moisture for the Spring across those areas,' he said. "So there is still a lot of drought concerns from South Dakota to Texas and points west to California."
But east of the Mississippi and in the south, Rippey said many places have gotten too much precipitation.
"Parts of the eastern Corn Belt have now had enough moisture that we may actually experience some planting delays early in the Spring," he said. "And certainly across the lower Southeast particularly from the central gulf coast into Georgia, parts of the Carolinas and even northern Florida it has been extremely wet."