Cool, Dry Corn Belt Conditions to Persist -- Forecaster
As cooler-than-normal temperatures continue to keep crop stress at bay in the absence of measurable widespread rainfall in the Corn Belt over the last two weeks, Mother Nature's expected to add to the weather-based bearish pressure on the grain markets when she finally turns back on the faucet in the next few days.
The outlook's taken a turn for the damper in the Corn Belt, and when that forecast was released late Tuesday, the grains responded quickly, underscoring the attention the trade's paying the weather right now. "Larger losses came in the day session after some weather maps indicated better rain chances for next week," says Cargill senior grain merchandiser in Eddyville, Iowa, Ray Jenkins. "Bullish news is hard to come by right now!"
The expected rainfall won't be regionwide, though; MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist Don Keeney says the Corn Belt will be bookended by the areas where rain is most likely from late this week on through early next week.
"Showers should return to the eastern Midwest through late week, which will help maintain sufficient moisture there for corn and soybean growth," Keeney says. "Also, rains in northwestern areas early next week will help improve moisture there as well."
On the other end of the spectrum, dry weather is expected to persist in other parts of the area. But if temperatures continue to stay lower than normal, crop stress may not be an issue . . . yet.
"Continued drier weather in southwestern areas through early next week will increase stress on soybeans, mainly in southwest Iowa, Missouri, southwestern Illinois, and southwest Kentucky," Keeney says. "A few showers should return to drier southwestern areas later next week, though, which should improve conditions at that point. Cool temperatures will continue to prevent heat stress."
Looking further down the road, the lower-than-normal temperatures are expected to be common through the next 30 to 60 days, Keeney says. But those cooler temperatures will also be accompanied by drier conditions in much of the region. Basically, it may be a broken record for the coming weeks, weather-wise.
"The latest 31- to 60-day temperature outlook has trended warmer across the Southeast, but slightly cooler across the central Plains. The continued lack of notable heat across the Midwest will prevent heat stress on any late growth of the soybeans," Keeney says. "The precipitation outlook has trended drier in the northwestern Midwest and north-central Plains, but has trended wetter in the south-central Midwest and southwestern Plains. The drier pattern in the northwestern Midwest should not result in any significant stress on corn and soybeans, as crop growth should be finishing up at that point. However, the wetter pattern in the southern Midwest and Delta may slow drydown and maturation of the crops."