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Harvest Delays Seen for Western Corn Belt

Favorable harvest weather expected for eastern Corn Belt.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- At this point in September, farmers are becoming antsy to get in the combine seat.

Weather experts say harvest conditions are looking favorable for eastern Midwest farmers; not so much for farmers in the west.

The eastern Corn Belt looks to be warming up with normal to above-normal temperatures. With drier days and higher temperatures, early harvest conditions look more favorable in the east than the west.

“The eastern Midwest looks to be in pretty good shape for harvest,” says Dale Mohler at AccuWeather. “The western Corn Belt weather is a different story.”

Several fronts will make their way through, bringing cooler temperatures as well as showers and thunderstorms. Western Illinois, western Wisconsin, and points farther west will see the greatest amount of rainfall through the end of September, slowing the opportunity of an early harvest, Mohler says.

“There will be some harvest delays for sure in the western Midwest,” says Mohler. The northwest corner into the eastern Dakotas, Minnesota, and northern Iowa could see scattered frost near the last week of September since it will be chillier.

During the last week of September, there could be some slight shifts in thunderstorms toward the east, but overall, Mohler predicts much of the rain to be in the west.

“The next 10 days are favorable for harvest and less favorable the farther west you go,” Mohler says.

Crop Maturity

“Crop development is running behind normal pace for mid-September,” says Dan Hicks, meteorologist at Freese-Notis Weather. “The temperature pattern through the end of September looks to be normal to above normal, which will help push those crops to maturity faster.”

October Weather

Looking into October, the Midwest will see a tendency for normal rainfall amounts. “There will be some slowing of harvest at times, but nothing unusual,” says Hicks.


Written by Emma Wilson

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