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'Near-perfect' weather in store for large parts of Corn Belt

Though we moderated temperatures nicely late last week, the fact that it was so hot early last week and the fact that not everyone got a good rain kept pressure this week on national corn ratings.

 Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin all saw deteriorating ratings of varying degrees in Monday afternoon's figures for the corn crop.

Nationally the corn crop rating of 60 percent good to excellent was down two percentage points from a week ago, and compares with a rating of 71 percent good/excellent a year ago (on a national crop that in the end did not yield very well).

The rating given to this year's national corn crop is also behind that given to the crops at this time in 2008 and 2009, but the crop still is rated better than crops of 2005 to 2007.

National soybean rating numbers actually improved a bit this week, helped by improved ratings for crops in Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and the Dakotas. The rating of 61 percent good/excellent remains well below the year-ago rating of 66 percent good to excellent and is below ratings for this time in 2008 and 2009, but the crop remains in better condition than the crops of 2005 to 2007.

Clearly the area of the Midwest that is in the worst shape right now is the central third of Illinois and nearby areas of Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri as rainfall in that area has been anemic since the final days of June. I can find places in central Illinois that have had about 0.75" of rain since June 28...the type of rain you would like to see in a 24-hour period, not a 40-plus day period.

Rains will fall in that area for Friday and Saturday, but right now I believe that the amounts will be too light to create much improvement in soil moisture conditions. At least temperatures there will stay mild through early next week to help limit stress, and for areas of the Midwest that have seen good rains as of late those mild temperatures will create near-perfect weather conditions for the middle part of August.

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

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