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More crop decline forecasted

You can't grow corn and soybeans without rain, and we are certainly proving that this summer as crop ratings have continued their steady fall ever since we started to see parts of the Corn Belt dry out starting in late June. National corn and soybean ratings were down hard this week, and it is unusual to see such big changes in ratings this late in the season unless there are a lot of problems to be noted.

For corn, a national crop that was rated at 70 percent good/excellent on June 18 was down to just 54 percent good/excellent this week, down three percentage points from a week ago. It is rated worse than any crop for the end of August for the last five years; a 52 percent good/excellent rating given to the national crop on August 28, 2005 was the last time that the crop was rated this bad for this late in the year. Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Missouri were states showing notable crop deterioration this past week.

A national soybean crop rated 68 percent good/excellent in the middle of June is down to 57 percent good/excellent this week, a drop of two percentage points. The crop is rated well below the levels of late August for the past two years, but is rated nearly the same as the crop of 2008 and is still rated higher than the crop of 2007 for late August. Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota were some of the states showing the biggest deterioration.

It is hard to get crop ratings to improve this time of year even in the best of circumstances, but the lack of rain in the forecast for the next ten days and big heat for the end of this week means it is almost a forgone conclusion that we will see more deterioration in next week's numbers. The weather forecast is not completely dry by any means, but does not feature the big soaker that everyone would like right now. Big heat for this Thursday and Friday could set records in parts of the Midwest before temperatures turn sharply cooler for next week.

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

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