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Excessive Rain in Eastern Midwest Likely to Continue Through Weekend as Crop Prospects Dim

The excessive rainfall in much of the eastern Midwest likely will stick around for at least the next five days while much-needed precipitation moves into Nebraska.

Forecasts call for 200% to 300% of normal rainfall from western Illinois through central Ohio the rest of the week and through the weekend, said Chris Hyde, a forecaster for MDA Weather Services.

As much as six times the normal amount of precipitation has fallen in that area in the past 30 days, leading to flooded fields and drowned plants. With more rain on the way, it’s not good news for growers whose fields are already under water, he said.

In the western Midwest, however, much of Nebraska is in either a moderate drought or abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. That may change in the next week as 200% to 300% of normal rainfall is expected, Hyde said. There are still several areas that need to be concerned about dry weather, however, in parts of the Corn Belt.

“Compared with last week, Nebraska is going to see a huge uptick in rain and so is Iowa,” he said. “As far as the impact on pollinating crops, whether you’re talking corn or beans, it looks like western Missouri and southern Kansas remain under threat from dryness.”

There is good news for the eastern Corn Belt, however, as the 10-day forecast through August 3 shows the rain shuts off with only 20% of normal precipitation expected from July 30, Hyde said. It’s also not going to be as hot, which likely will give growing corn and soybeans a chance to hydrate and cool down.

Little changes are expected in North Dakota, where it’s been extremely dry, or in Minnesota, which has received favorable amounts of rain in the past week, he said.

Commodity Weather Group in its seasonal agriculture outlook said it expects “patchy” dryness to linger in the Midwest in August. Maps in the report show below-normal precipitation will continue through the month in much of the northern edge of the U.S. including all of North Dakota, much of Minnesota, and the northern half of Montana next month.

Parts of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles where hard red winter wheat is grown, though fields are currently empty, also will see below-normal precipitation in August, CWG said.

Some 25% of U.S. corn and soybeans will be subject to lingering dry pockets, while 40% of Canadian wheat will suffer from dry weather next month.

“While dry patches may linger in up to 25% of corn and soy areas (mainly in the western Midwest and Delta) and lower yield potential, lack of severe heat or more widespread dryness during August will prevent more serious yield impacts to kernel filling corn and pod set and fill of soybeans,” CWG said. “Limited showers aid early Northern Plains spring wheat harvest but hinder late wheat and canola growth in the southern half of the Canadian Prairies.”

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