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Harvest surges as weather chills

The national corn and soybean harvests continuned to roll forward at a rapid or even record-setting pace last week. 26 percent of the Nation's corn crop had been cut as of this past Sunday, easily the most ever for that date (previous high was 15 percent set two years ago).

Want me to put that figure into perspective? Three years ago in 2009, the national corn harvest did not surpass 26 percent done until the second day of November!!! The Illinois corn harvest is more than one-third done, with over half of the harvest done in Kansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. The national soybean harvest at ten percent done as of September 16 also appears to be the most ever for that date, with about six percent done in 2000 and 2006 being the biggest amounts prior to this year.

At least 15 percent of the soybean crop has already been cut in South Dakota and Minnesota. The weather forecast does not suggest that there will be any major slow-downs to harvest activity coming up either. The forecast is not completely dry for the Corn Belt, but it certainly does not have any big rains in it through the end of next week either. Note that with the soils so dry around a lot of the region, it really is going to take very big rains to ever make conditions too muddy to support machinery. It remains a cool weather pattern coming up for the rest of this month and into the early days of October.

The "peak" of the cold will probably be coming for this weekend, when conditions might be cold enough where light precipitation falling for Friday night and into a part of Saturday in Minnesota and nearby areas actually falls as a few snowflakes! The first freeze of the season in any part of the Corn Belt occurred this morning as Spencer got down to 31 degrees for their low, but a more significant frost/freeze looks poised for this Sunday with temperatures that morning likely dropping below 32 for northern Iowa and points northward.

That is very early for a freeze even for that part of the Corn Belt, but should have little or no impact on corn and soybean crops in that area. Needed rain for hard-red winter wheat planting in the southern Plains is still out of the ten-day forecast picture, but there is still hope for an increase in rain there in the opening days of October.

Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

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