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More Rain Projected in the Midwest

Harvest Delays Expected.

Monday marked the first day of fall, but the Midwest could see some spring-like forecasts with showers expected to continue this week and into October.

Most concerns over an early frost have been put to rest, but a regular frost could be just as problematic. The USDA released its crop progress report Monday, showing that 7% of corn has been harvested in the top 18 producing states in the week ending with September 22 compared with an 11% five-year average at this time of the year. Continued precipitation could push harvest behind even more.

Partially Dry Week

After a soggy weekend, more thunderstorms could appear across the Corn Belt in the last week of September, but the outlook is more positive this week for farmers and crops.

“There could be some brief showers, or some showers, maybe a brief thunderstorm will roll through,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dale Mohler says about the western side of the Corn Belt’s Tuesday weather. “I don’t expect it to necessarily be all that severe.”

Mohler says the scattered storms will mostly affect Minnesota, Iowa, and northern Missouri, but the forecast shows much weaker potential storms than the Midwest sees during the summer. Mohler lists the rain totals at less than .5 inch.

The three states involved are behind the five-year average in corn harvested, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report. Missouri is at 15% harvested (31% five-year average), Minnesota (1% five-year average), and Iowa (3% five-year average) sat at 0% during the week ending with September 22, according to the report. 

The Corn Belt experienced heavy rain from eastern Kansas and Nebraska up to the Wisconsin and Michigan areas over the weekend. As a result, it will take time to dry out as the heart of harvest approaches.

Fortunately for farmers, the short-term outlook appears positive for the next couple of days. Outside of the scattered showers Mohler mentions, the week sets up to be mild up until the start of the weekend.

Wet Weekend Opens October

While this week may see some relief from heavy rainfalls, the weekend puts a damper on that stretch.

Starting on Friday and running through the weekend and early part of next week, the Midwest could be hit by the next wave of heavy rainfall. Mohler draws the boundary from Kansas City to Detroit and projects the heavy rain to hit northwest of the area. 

On the other side of the Corn Belt, the southeast portion will see less rain and more favorable harvest conditions throughout the week and into next week.

“That’s going to cause further harvest delays,” Mohler says about the uptick in rain over the weekend.

While the added rain could slow down harvest, the early frost chatter has died down in the Corn Belt with some of the northwest states approaching or already reaching a later frost date than average, helping provide more time for crops to grow and fields to dry.

Mohler expects the frost to stay away for a little longer, but the northwest Corn Belt could see some light frost October 3-4.

Missouri River Flooding Returns

The previous weekend downpour did no favors for parts of Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa with the Missouri River causing more flooding issues in the area.

As of Tuesday, the river reached the moderate flood stage in parts of Missouri and Nebraska, while Iowa remains at mostly minor flooding, according to the National Weather Service. Mohler says he thinks the river will be knocked down to a minor flood stage status later this week, but the projected rain during the weekend and early part of next week could push back to a moderate flood stage.

“It may retreat a little bit, and then rise again next week,” Mohler says. “This past weekend kind of got it going, and then it’s going to get some additional runoff into the river next week.”

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Written by Trevor Holbrook

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