Planting Weather Outlook and Regenerative Agriculture Decisions

April 03, 2024  |  By BAM Weather and ForGround by Bayer

We know you’re looking ahead and anticipating planting conditions. So, we’re teaming up with BAM Weather meteorologists to bring you a detailed, region-specific weather report. Then our experts translate that into tips for growers who implement no-till, strip-till and cover crops.

This report isn't just a forecast; it's a helpful tool to make smart choices for your farm. As a ForGround by Bayer member, each month, you’ll get a regional weather analysis, including precipitation, temperature trends and agronomic insights to help guide your planning.

Watch it: Spring Weather Outlook Webinar

Read it: Agronomic Summary

With planting season here for many areas, the weather can be crucial to the early season success. Cover crop termination, weed control timing, soil moisture, etc. are all influenced by weather conditions. There has been some drought relief recently in the central and northern Corn Belt, which should help with early season soil moisture for germination, however, long-term dryness may have depleted the reserve. If you are limited on soil moisture, make sure you stay on top of the cover crop growth and don’t’ wait too long to terminate. If you have plenty of moisture, let it grow and capture the many benefits it can bring. It looks like much of the crop grower areas are expected to have overall warmer than normal temperatures this month, so rapid growth could happen. Plan ahead if those cover crops get away from you.

Looking further into May, the expected cool weather in the central U.S. may slow the drying of soils, especially in the areas expecting below normal temperatures. This could delay or drag-out planting. For the Northeast U. S./ and Great Lakes, there is a risk of dryness to continue due to abnormally dry conditions followed by dry and warm outlooks for April and May. Consider managing moisture and reducing tillage if fields are dry and the forecast does not show relief.

Looking further into the summer, the rapid transition from El Niño to La Niña may begin to influence the weather patterns. There is risk of above normal temperatures for the summer for much of the U.S., and precipitation, which is often the case in the summer months, is quite variable.

Read it: Planting Weather Outlook

April 12-25 Temperature and Precipitation Outlook

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T093544.283


Global patterns support warmth overall with the best core residing over the Great Lakes and northern AG Belt. Some cooler air at times can occur, especially for the Deep South and East Coast. Towards the end of the month, there is the risk the E Coast can trend cooler based on tropical forcing analogs.

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T093557.732


Highest areas of confidence with continued above normal rain would be across the Central Plains, from KS and MO through points north. This would be rooted in a favorable flow pattern stemming from the West Coast. The Eastern Ohio Valley and Great Lakes would pose the risk at seeing below normal precipitation depending on the strength of the jet transporting moisture in the Central US. The risk overall would suggest drying out into the back half of April across the Corn Belt.

April Temperature and Precipitation Outlook

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T094357.910


Global patterns and signals favor warmer conditions for the US. The last few days of the month can end on a cooler note across the Deep South and East Coast based on timing with tropical forcing in the Equatorial Pacific.

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T094414.475


Biggest question for April will be how far NE moisture can expand into the Great Lakes and eastern portions of the Corn Belt. It is likely the first half of the month has better opportunities for moisture, while the back half of the month begins a drying trend. NE, Dakotas, W IA and KS would be locations with higher confidence of consistent precip. The South Central/ S Plains can trend drier if the flow pattern shifts more north, causing higher pressure and drier conditions for TX, OK, AR.

May Temperature and Precipitation Outlook

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T095125.751


Trends suggest an overall cooler look across the continental United States, most notably the central 1/3rd of the US. This month is the best transition month with a pivot into an eventual La Niña. It would be important to watch for some back side cold fronts that can cause some sneaky frost/freeze chances from the Dakotas, OH Valley to interior Northeast.

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T095411.153


The end of April drying out across the AG Belt and Great Lakes would pose a continued concern into May. These locations would be at greatest risk to see some drought concerns. If locations can start to trend closer to near normal, it would not be until near the the end of the month. The Deep South would be at risk of trending drier based on favored analogs.

Looking Ahead

June, July and August Temperature and Precipitation Outlook

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T101123.528


A composite average of June, July and August would yield a warmer than normal look for most of the US, with the Northwest and Southwest the only locations at risk of leaning towards slightly cooler air. July and August will likely start to feel more influences from La Niña, with an overwhelming lean to above normal temperatures.

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T101306.771


When factoring a drier look to start these three months with eventually trending wetter across the AG Belt and OH Valley, overall, these locations would lean only slightly below normal when averaged out. The Central United States would be the best location to see consistent rain chances through the season.

June Temperature and Precipitation Outlook

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T100145.501


Higher than normal confidence is present that the Eastern United States will experience above normal temperatures, with below normal temperatures across the west coast (especially the Southwest). If a quicker Niña arrives, the core of this warmth can shift slightly Southeast. The Central Plains would have the tendency to lean warmer as well.

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T100145.501


June overall has some low confidence for the precipitation progression. A solution that delays La Niña (likely remaining neutral through June) this can still pose some issues of dryness across the Great Lakes and Northeast. If a stronger flow pattern is felt, this can cause for some wetter trends into the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. If this were to occur, the Great Lakes and Northeast would still pose the risk of missing out on precip as this flow pattern misses to the south of such locations.


ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T102128.553


Confidence is above normal at this distance for July to be a well above normal month for temperatures. Strongest core of the warmth will likely occur across the Northeast, Great Lakes and along the Mid Atlantic where high pressure can set up. The only locations that can be cooler to seasonable would be across the Pacific Northwest. The Central Plains can lean a little cooler depending on more consistent rainfall or southwest flow working through.

ForGround Contentful Images - 2024-04-03T102227.071


A very difficult month to forecast. It does look like two corridors of high-pressure setup across the Great Lakes and Southeast. Due to clockwise airflow around a high-pressure system, this can open flow across the C US, and an additional flow pattern where it is cooler across the Northwest. Due to research with the aridity index, it is likely the Great Lakes will struggle to see moisture press through.