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Crop decline likely to continue

A notable decline in national corn and soybean crop ratings for the week ending July 17 shows the impact of the dryness that has been seen over the past several weeks in parts of the Midwest and the heat that has set up in the region since the middle of the month.

National corn crop ratings were down three percentage points to take the rating to 66 percent good to excellent. That puts the crop well behind the ratings of the past two years, but the crop is still rated higher as of mid-July than the corn ratings given to the crops in 2005 through 2008.

For individual states, the ratings were down especially hard for Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. National soybean ratings this week were down two percentage points to 64 percent good to excellent.

Like the corn crop, this year's national soybean rating is below the rating given to the crop the last two years as of mid-July, but is better than the ratings given to the crop in the middle of July from 2005 through 2008. Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina were the individual states seeing the most significant deterioration this week in soybean crop ratings.

Chances are high that we will see additional deterioration in next week's ratings, no matter how much rain falls later this week, given the type of heat that we are seeing this week. Highs of 90 or higher are going to be seen for the rest of the week on every day across the bulk of the region, and a lot of places will top 95 several times and some places will reach 100.

We will start to take a little edge off the heat later this week in northern parts of the region, and that in turn will start to create some thunderstorm chances that will last into early next week. Typical for summertime thunderstorm activity, some of this rain will be quite significant (even locally heavy) but other areas will get missed. The best cooling in the Midwest will be seen early next week, but temperatures will likely be warming again towards month end.

Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved

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