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Heat fuels 'excellent' crop growth

The corn trade may note that we "only" saw a one percent improvement this past week in national corn and soybean ratings for the good/excellent category, but let's look a little more closely.

All of the increase was actually in the "excellent" category, up a full three percentage points (two of those points coming from the "good" category, one all the way from the "fair" category) so the improvement in ratings last week was more significant than you might have otherwise thought. It is difficult to find states that did not show an increase in the amount of their corn crop rated in the "excellent" category, but clearly leading the way was Nebraska where a full one-quarter of their corn is now rated as "excellent" versus just 15 percent last week. It is a similar situation in soybeans, where good/excellent ratings were up 1 percent but it was a two percentage point increase for the "excellent" category.

It was Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Tennessee that led the way for increases in the excellent category for individual states. It was the warm and dry weather of last week that created the improvement for the corn and soybean crops, but as we all know it does not take much of that type of weather before conditions start going downhill quickly.

As I noted yesterday, there is an area of the Midwest that has really dried out over the past two weeks (or a little longer), and that area is namely eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, northeastern Indiana, and northern Ohio.

I would not say that the rain chances in that area for the next five days are "zero", but they do look poor and indeed a lot of that area will get nothing. The best rains in the Corn Belt through the weekend will be west of Interstate 35, particularly along the Kansas/Nebraska border (where nice rains fell already last night and all of that rain is certainly welcomed).

I think that there is reason for optimism for rain in the drier areas of the Midwest in the 6-10 day time frame, and overall I feel better about the rain chances for that area in that period than I did yesterday. We are still looking at some heat for next week, but looks to be mainly in southern and southwestern parts of the Midwest (and points southward).

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

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