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The next shot for rain?

Jeff Caldwell 06/12/2012 @ 9:11am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

When will it rain again? That's the $64,000 question in much of the Corn Belt these days as crop stress mounts on hot, dry weather. So, is there another shot of rain in the near future?

This week will likely remain dry in much of the Corn Belt except the northern climes where rainfall's been much more common so far this spring. But, in the southern 2/3 of the Corn Belt, as well as the mid-South and Delta, rain's likely out of the question for the remainder of this week, though cooler temperatures could help knock back some of the mounting crop stress. Then, it looks like the rainfall window opens back up slightly next week, says Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., ag meteorologist Craig Solberg.

"For the period from Wednesday into the weekend much of the southeastern 2/3 of the Midwest and much of the Delta will not see much chance for significant rainfall. In the northwestern Midwest chances for showers and t-storms will increase during this period and continue into early next week," Solberg said Tuesday morning. "After a few cooler days in the Midwest highs will warm back into the 80s/low 90s for later this week into early next week. It does appear that rain chances will increase farther south and east into more of the Midwest by mid to late next week."

A lot of hopes are hanging on that potential rainfall next week. Without it, already-parched crops could be in big trouble in places like northwestern Ohio, says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk senior contributor Blacksandfarmer. "We cannot afford to miss next weeks predicted rain. Southern Michigan, Indiana, Northwest Ohio and parts of Illinois are going to be in pretty bad shape soon," he says.

Adds Marketing Talk advisor Pupdaddy: "Late-planted beans and corn are struggling...Even my corn planted the 2nd and 3rd of May is looking really ragged. Need to put some sidedress on today...not sure if I want to apply as much nitrogen as I had planned. The forecast doesn't look very good for receiving any benefit from it."

In the longer term, missing out on these rains could indeed be a big problem. Late June could see a return to hot, dry conditions in much of the nation's center, amping up the stress on the crops, according to Tuesday's daily report from Commodity Weather Group (CWG) in Chicago.

"Regardless of next week’s showers, additional rains will be needed by early July through the southeastern 2/3 of the Corn Belt. The return of the drier conditions to the northern Delta over the next 2 weeks will draw down topsoil moisture again, but favorable moisture should continue from the Gulf Coast into the Southeast," according to CWG on Tuesday. "Highs mostly rise into the low 90s in the 6-10 day for the corn belt, but readings may reach the mid-90s in the southwestern Midwest and near 100 degrees in the Delta/Plains by the 11-15 day."


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