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Mild, Wet Weather For Western Corn Belt Ahead

Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis looks for some warmer days forecast into this weekend, then cooler for a few days, with some above normal temps returning to much of Midwest for the 6-10 day outlook. There will be cooler conditions in the far northwestern Midwest and Northern Plains. Looking six to ten days ahead, temperatures could be 3 to 7 degrees cooler than normal in the northern Plains, from South Dakota north and west. The central Plains and western Corn Belt should be near normal with the eastern Corn Belt and Southeast running three to seven degrees above normal.

“I don’t expect unusually hot daytime high temps in most of the Midwest in near future,” says Hicks.

For the same August 20-24 period, Freese Notis expects above normal precipitation in the northwest Midwest (most of Missouri and north through Minnesota and Wisconsin), mostly normal rainfall in the Plains and Delta region with near to below normal precipitation in the far Southeast.Warmer daytime and overnight temperatures are expected to hit the Midwest over the next several days.

Meanwhile, over the next several days, the Corn Belt is expected to see above-normal temperatures with highs in the low 90s, according to MDA Weather Services senior agriculture meteorologist, Kyle Tapley. While daytime temperatures won’t cause significant stress on corn and soybean crops, overnight lows are expected to be as much as 7 to 9 degrees above normal over the next five days for the northern part of the Midwest.

“This may lead to some stress on kernel filling of the corn crop as lows struggle to drop below 70°F.,” says Tapley. “This should not be a prolonged threat however, with cooler overnight lows expected by early next week.”

MDA Weather Services reports a wetter trend for August 17 – 21, with heaviest rains to appear in the northwestern portion of the Midwest. Northern Iowa is expected to see rainfall that will help replenish soil moisture for favorable corn and soybean conditions. 

The U.S. Crop Progress trackers show 96% of the national corn crop silking, and 50% is in the dough stage, both similar rates compared to the five-year average. The national soybean crop is blooming 88%, slightly behind last year and the five-year average of 91%. Nationally, 69% of the soybean crop is setting pods, which is slightly ahead of the five-year average of 66% and slightly behind the 70% we saw in 2014.

“Soybean progress remains well ahead of schedule in Minnesota and well behind schedule in Missouri,” reports Tapley. “Nationally, corn and soybean progress should remain near the five-year average this week as temperatures generally remain near normal levels across the Corn Belt.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor increased again this week with 28.92% of the U.S. now in drought status, compared to 27.13% last week. Increased drought conditions occurred mostly in the southern Delta and eastern Texas, but an area in southwestern Wisconsin has also encountered prolonged periods of low rainfall.

“Rains over the next week may ease some of this newly developed drought in southwestern Wisconsin, but continued dry weather across the Delta and eastern Texas will likely lead to further expansion in drought coverage,” says Tapley.

Get the latest U.S. Drought Monitor updates here. 

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