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A Trip Around the Crop Weather World

Continued rainfall in the east-central Plains and northwestern Corn Belt in the U.S. is just one of several moisture extremes making weather headlines as the week begins.

The rain is falling in spots where it's badly needed, and it's drying up in spots where it's not in the U.S. this week, though Mother Nature won't exactly be well-behaved all week, with storms likely in the western and central Corn Belt over the next two days, according to Don Keeney, senior ag meteorologist with MDA Weather Services.

"Rains across the east-central Plains this past weekend further improved moisture, and additional improvements are expected in south central and northeastern areas this week. The drier pattern in the west-central Plains this week will allow moisture there to begin to decline a bit again, but will allow wheat harvesting to improve," Keeney says. "Heavy rains in the northwestern Midwest this past weekend maintained wetness concerns, and additional abundant rains are expected there this week. More limited rains elsewhere in the Midwest will prevent wetness from building, and corn and soybean conditions should remain quite favorable."

Two other regions that have resided on opposite ends of the rainfall spectrum lately should move toward the middle of this week, too, Keeney adds. And that's good for crop conditions in both regions.

"Drier weather in the Delta this week will allow wetness to ease, while additional rains in the northwestern Plains and southwestern Prairies will further improve moisture there for spring wheat early growth," he adds.

Looking abroad, there are crop weather concerns elsewhere, namely in eastern Europe, India, and Australia. There's still a shortage of moisture -- despite weekend rainfall -- in former Soviet Union (FSU) nations and much of Australia, affecting both regions' potential wheat crop output. Those same concerns are starting to ease, however, in India, where the monsoon season's beginning.

"Dryness does still linger in western Kazakhstan, northern North Caucasus, and north central and southwestern Volga Valley. Some improvements are expected in northern Volga Valley this week, but dryness will increase again in western Kazakhstan, southwestern and southeastern Volga Valley, and northern North Caucasus," Keeney says of the FSU region. "Monsoonal rains increased across central Madhya Pradesh (India) this past weekend, which began to improve moisture a bit. Rains should build across eastern Madhya Pradesh this week, which will improve conditions there as well. However, dryness will continue to delay planting. Rains increased across Queensland (Australia) and northeastern New South Wales this past weekend, which improved moisture and wheat conditions a bit. However, the return of drier weather there now through the next 10 days will allow dryness and stress to quickly rebuild."

Moving forward, Keeney sees dryness continuing to weigh on crop potential in parts of western/central Europe and China. The latter region is expected to see some rainfall in the coming week to 10 days, but parts of the nation will remain under growing crop-straining conditions despite some rainfall over the weekend.

"Rains increased across western and northern Yangtze Valley and southern North China Plain this past weekend, which improved moisture a bit for corn and soybean growth. However, dryness continues to stress crops in west-central North China Plain and central Yangtze Valley," Keeney says. "Little improvement is expected in these areas this week, and dryness will continue in west-central North China Plain in the six- to 10-day period."

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