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Heavy weather forecast continues to hang over planting season

The grain markets are closed for trading tomorrow in observance of Good Friday, but when traders return to their trading desks on Monday morning (or, for some, Sunday night), they will be getting reports of extremely heavy rains over the holiday weekend in a large part of the Corn Belt.

 From now through Monday morning, rains in excess of two inches and locally over four inches are going to be seen in much of Ohio, the southern two-thirds of Indiana, the southern two-thirds of Illinois, and most of Missouri. That will not be the end of it though, as additional rains for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will mean that we will only be adding to those totals.

By the time get to one week from now, I would think that most of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois (except for the far north) and Missouri will have seen in excess of four inches of rain, with especially heavy totals from southwestern through east-central Missouri, the southern half of Illinois, and southwestern Indiana where totals will exceed five inches and localized rains may approach eight inches.

Rains will not be as heavy in the rest of the Corn Belt to the northwest, but will be frequent even in those areas and that will also be the area seeing the coldest temperatures. The bottom line is that this is still an ugly weather pattern for the rest of this month in the Midwest, and one that means that we are just not going to be getting any fieldwork done.

 I feel confident in my prediction that we will see the national corn planting progress figure be at 18 percent or less for the week ending May 1, which means that this year's corn planting pace as of that date will be the third slowest since 1985 (ahead of only 1993 when we had 8 percent planted by that date, and 1995 when 11 percent of the Nation's corn crop was in the ground on May 1).

Rains will not be as heavy for the opening days of May (hard for them to be, given how wet the next week will be) but it still looks like there will be additional rains in that period along with still below normal temperatures for especially northern parts of the Midwest.

For the hard-red winter wheat belt, it looks like it is going to be a sharp line between still limited rains in southwestern Kansas southward and good rains elsewhere. Just the next five days will feature very nice rains from the eastern border of the Texas panhandle and points eastward, with that area seeing a lot of 0.50-2.00+" totals (along with a good amount of severe weather).

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

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