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Weather favoring soybeans, wheat

Jeff Caldwell 10/11/2011 @ 9:01am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

This week's USDA Crop Progress report, set for release Tuesday afternoon because of Monday's Columbus Day holiday, should show some major harvest strides after a hot, dry week in the Corn Belt last week.

"By all indications, the soybean trade is looking for a national harvest completion figure on this afternoon's weekly report to be under 50%, but I think that the number will be bigger than that," says Freese-Notis Weather ag meteorologist Craig Solberg. "Last year during this same week, we had completely dry weather all across the Midwest and were able to cut 30% of the Nation's soybean crop...a record-large amount for a one-week time period."

Solberg guesses this week's soybean harvest progress will be closer to 56%, he says. At the same time, corn harvest progress looks to be lagging over the last week, with many farmers sticking to soybeans. But, based on the weather outlook through the rest of October, that shouldn't hold things up too badly.

"For all intents and purposes, the Midwest soybean harvest will be able to be wrapped up here in the first half of October," Solberg adds. "The way I see the weather pattern shaping up, the corn harvest should be able to be finished on a timely fashion as well during the second half of October."

Meanwhile, there are a lot of happy wheat farmers in the central Plains. Parts of the Plains received major rains over last weekend, and that's got the just-planted winter wheat crop off to a good start in the majority of the Wheat Belt.

"Recent showers have aided germination prospects nearly everywhere in the Plains winter wheat belt, and ongoing crop establishment concerns are limited to 20% or less of the belt -- mainly southeastern CO and patchy sections of far western TX, southwestern and far eastern KS, eastern OK and eastern TX," according to Tuesday's Commodity Weather Group Ag QUICKsheet. "Other than a few light showers near the TX/OK border and in eastern KS by tomorrow, dry weather in the Plains returns over the next 2 weeks."

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