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Weather Starter: Falling Temps & Rainfall Reports

Jeff Caldwell Updated: 08/25/2014 @ 1:25pm Agricultural content creator and marketer.

Temperatures into the 90s and beyond, on top of humidity levels that qualify as tropical have made parts of the Corn Belt feel like an oven lately. That's likely to change later this week. So, what will that mean for the growing corn and soybean crops?

Temperatures hit the triple digits in parts of the Plains over the weekend, and heat like that is likely to continue through midweek, when a system of cooler air will enter the nation's midsection, according to Wayne Ellis, meteorologist with Freese-Notis Weather, Inc.

"Cooler air will spread slowly southeastward Tuesday through midweek. Highs tomorrow will be in the 70s far northwest with 80s in the rest of the north half and 90s south. The far south will be in the upper 90s again," he says. "Highs Tuesday will cool to the 70s for about the northwest third and range up to the low to mid-90s south portion. By Thursday, highs will be in the 70s north and 80s south, a few degrees below normal."

The midweek cooldown will be ushered in by rainfall that will add to the almost 2.5 inches of rain that fell in parts of the western Corn Belt over the weekend.

"A majority of the region will stay dry through tomorrow, but there will be scattered showers and thunderstorms in the northwest as cooler air gradually moves down into the Corn Belt early to midweek," Ellis says. "Showers and isolated thunderstorms will be more widespread Tuesday through Friday as a couple separate systems move along a slow moving frontal boundary. Rain amounts for the next five days will be in the .50- to 1.00-inch range in much of the region with 1.00 to 2.00 inches far northwest."

By the weekend, more seasonable temperatures will return to the nation's center, with rainfall tapering off by Friday, Ellis adds.

The continued heat has helped the corn and soybean crops in much of the northern third of the nation's center -- to the point at which market analyst Al Kluis says he expects USDA to raise corn and soybean conditions in Monday's Crop Progress report -- but, it hasn't been a boon everywhere; it's been just as hot in the southern Corn Belt and mid-South, and that's where the crops may have started to incur some damage, says MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist Don Keeney.

"Very warm temperatures in the southwestern Midwest and northern Delta are resulting in some stress on late growth of soybeans, but the heat is a net benefit to the corn and soybeans as it is accelerating growth a bit," he says.

In general, farmers say the recent heat and rainfall has been good for their crops, though the temperatures have chipped away at the benefits the moisture has provided. However, yield potential is yet to fall too much.

"Yep, been really dry here, but finally hit the jackpot the last few days. [The rain] will help soybeans immensely and will definitely help corn even though we have lost some luster for sure," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk senior contributor IllinoisSteve. "So, the big question is how much did we lose? I'm gonna guess we are still at 225 to 240 [bushels/acre], but will know better when I start scouting again. I just have no idea on beans as usual. Pod counts look pretty good but are having trouble filling. This rain will really help them to finish strong. My gut feeling is the bean crop will be just average but have nothing to base this off of other than a hunch."

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