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Midwest warmup coming

The old adage "rain makes grain" works most of the time, but clearly it was rain that caused a deterioration in national corn and soybean ratings last week. National corn ratings were down two percentage points in the good-to- excellent category to 68 percent good/excellent, and in that same category the crop is five percentage points worse than a year ago.

The 2008 national corn crop was rated 61 percent good/excellent in late June; other than that, this is the lowest-rated corn crop in late June since (and including) 2006. National soybean ratings this week were down three percentage points in the good/excellent category to 65 percent good/excellent, but in that category are just two percentage points worse than a year ago and three percentage points worse than in late June of 2009.

Corn and soybean ratings were down quite hard this past week in the top three producing states of Iowa Illinois, and Minnesota, and too much rain was to blame for that deterioration. In Iowa, six of the past seven weeks have featured above-normal amounts of rainfall. If the Midwest corn and soybean crops want warmer and drier weather, then there is a good chance that we will see some improvement in crop ratings for the week ending July 3.

Temperatures are going to be running above normal across most of the Midwest for this Thursday and Friday, and while a bit cooler for the weekend should still be modestly above normal even then. The heavy rains in the Midwest are over with for the rest of the work-week, though there are going to be scattered thundershowers developing for the weekend and probably continuing well into next week. Worst of the weather for the rest of this week and the weekend will be in the Plains, where summer row crops in Kansas and Oklahoma will be under severe stress due to current dry conditions and more heat in the forecast.

Wednesday through much of the weekend will feature highs above 100 for much of Kansas and Oklahoma, and comes at a time when we already had 4% of the Kansas corn crop and 41% of the Oklahoma corn crop in the silking stage as of last Sunday. It continues to look like heat will not be a problem for pollinating corn in the Midwest for the middle of July, with temperatures looking to turn normal or cooler than normal after July 4.

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

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