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'Limited rainfall pattern' continues

Extreme, record-setting heat and a lack of rain last week meant that it was no surprise that we saw yet another steep drop in national corn and soybean crop rating numbers for the week ending July 9. At 40 percent good to excellent for corn (versus 72 percent in that category at the beginning of June) and also 40 percent good to excellent for soybeans (down from an initial rating of 65 percent in that category at the beginning of the season), these are easily the lowest-rated crops for this time of year since the Drought of 1988.

Admittedly, this year's crops are still rated a lot higher than they were in early July of 1988, when the national corn crop was just 14% good/excellent (and 50% poor/very poor) and the national soybean crop was just 16% good/excellent (and 37% poor/very poor). Heat this week will not be as extreme as it was last week, and some rains are going to fall late this week in southeastern parts of the Midwest. Because of that, ratings will likely not be down as hard for the week ending July 15...but make no mistake that they should be down again.

An easy majority of the Midwest is not going to see much rain at all for the rest of this week, and while we will not see last week's temperature extremes, we are still looking at lots of highs in the 90s (which should be more than enough to keep crop stress high given how very dry it is in most of the region).

While southeastern parts of the Corn Belt may continue to see some rain chances next week, I still see the majority of the Corn Belt in a very limited rainfall pattern for the 6-10 day time frame with the western two-thirds of the region seeing highs consistently in the 90s and some places will likely be around 100 degrees.

To fully stabilize crop conditions, we are going to need to see everyone in the Midwest get a big, soaking rain; that is just not something that I have in the forecast at this time. With that in mind, look for corn and soybean traders to continue to ponder still lower and lower national corn and soybean yield figures for 2012.

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

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