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Weather Starter: 70-degree Temps Seen Propelling Harvest Ahead This Week

It's not exactly the bone-dry outlook that was forecast for this week weather-watchers saw last week, but rainfall is light and limited in the Midwest over the next few days, and that ought to propel corn and soybean harvest forward through this week.

It's "overall not bad" for harvest progress this week, with a few areas of rain through mid-week in the western and northwestern Corn Belt. They'll be light and accompanied by unseasonably warm temperatures, making it what should be generally good conditions for a lot of harvest action, forecasters say.

"There will be areas of light rain in the eastern Corn Belt tonight through tomorrow night and a system will move into the western portion of the Corn Belt Wednesday night into Thursday but fizzle out before reaching the Mississippi River valley. Far west and northwest areas may receive rain amounts of 0.25 to 0.50 inch from this system for the most rainfall," says Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., meteorologist Wayne Ellis. "The warmest temps this week will be in the west with near to above normal and near to below normal east. Highs will be in the 50s north-central through the east the next several days with 60s elsewhere, some low 70s far west tomorrow. Highs will be mostly 60s later in the week with 70s returning to western areas on Friday."

Adds MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist Don Keeney: "The drier pattern should continue to favor harvest progress early this week, with only minor delays expected from showers in the northwestern Midwest Wednesday and Thursday. Showers should remain a bit limited in the 6- to 10-day period across the Midwest and Delta, which will continue to favor corn and soybean harvesting."

Beyond the mid-week showers, forecasters say the harvest weather window is flying open; rainall is expected to be fairly short in the Midwest, and above-normal temperatures are likely to continue well into November.

"The precipitation forecast has trended wetter across the southern Plains and the Delta, but remains rather dry across the Midwest and northern Plains," adds MDA senior ag meteorologist Kyle Tapley. "The dry weather across the Midwest and northern Plains would favor corn and soybean harvesting."

Meanwhile, the forecast is leaning the other way for parts of the Plains, where farmers are wrapping up winter wheat planting. Cooler and generally damper conditions will help that crop with germination and early establishment. "Our latest 16- to 30-day temperature outlook has trended cooler across the southern Plains, particularly in Texas," Tapley says. "Above normal rainfall across the southwestern Plains would further improve soil moisture for winter wheat establishment."

Continued warm, dry air in the Corn Belt will likely move corn and soybean harvest major strides toward completion in the next week to 10 days, experts say. Kluis Commodities market analyst and broker Al Kluis says he expects corn harvest to be about 1/3 complete, with soybean harvest just past the halfway point as the week starts, with much greater progress expected this week. And, that progress -- combined with other factors like improved crop weather in South America -- will likely keep the grain markets in negative territory, at least to start the week.

"In South America, it stays wet in the southern part of Brazil and most of Argentina. Rain will move across some areas of central and western Brazil. It looks like about 50% of the dry areas will get some much-needed rain on Monday through Wednesday. By Friday, only about 25% of the main corn and soybean area will be dry," adds weather specialist David Tolleris. "With good harvest weather in the U.S. and an improved weather outlook in Brazil, grain prices will likely start out a little lower this week."


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