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Ideal Growing Conditions to Persist Despite Areas of Excessive Rain

Precipitation is a Net Positive For Growing Corn, Soybeans, Forecasters Say.

Ideal growing conditions in the Corn Belt are likely to continue for at least the next seven to 10 days, though excessive rainfall in parts of the Midwest could curb prospects in some areas, forecasters told

Don Keeney, a senior agricultural meteorologist for MDA Weather Services, said some areas likely will receive too much rain in the next week to 10 days, but the precipitation will be a net benefit for the Corn Belt.

“It’s getting a little too wet in far eastern Nebraska and that will be spreading into western Iowa in the next day or two,” he said. “If you look at the grand scheme of things, the rain will be a significant benefit, but there are some areas that will be too wet.”

The USDA last week said that 78% of the corn crop and 73% of soybeans were in good or excellent condition. That’s up from 67% for both crops a year earlier, the USDA said in a report on Monday.

Commodity Weather Group said in a report Wednesday morning that it expects heavy rains in the central and southern Midwest for at least the next 10 days. The greatest risk for flooding is in parts of Kansas, Iowa, northern Missouri, and western Illinois.

That said, the precipitation will be “very favorable” for growers, the forecaster said.

As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin in the past seven days. It’s not raining everywhere, however, as much of western Kansas and pretty much all of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio all have missed out on the precipitation in the past week, according to the National Weather Service.

Those areas may get some much-needed moisture in the next seven to 10 days, Keeney said.

About 90% of soybeans and 98% of corn have emerged from the ground, according to the USDA. About 89% of sorghum had been planted with about 18% headed as of Sunday. Almost all of the U.S. spring wheat crop has emerged and is now growing, and the USDA said 78% was in good or excellent condition, up from only 41% during the same week in 2017.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows some parts of southern Iowa are abnormally dry or are in a moderate drought. In northern Missouri, there are some areas of severe drought. The worst conditions right now are in east-central and southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, where there’s exceptional drought, the worst rating from the monitor.

Farther east, parts of the Delta have been dry in the past couple of weeks, according to the NWS. The area, however, likely will see some rainfall this week, which will ease stress for pollinating corn before again turning drier in the six- to 15-day outlook, CWG said.

Keeney said he doesn’t see anything on the horizon that would cause him concern in terms of growing weather. It’ll get hot in some areas, but not for long, and precipitation looks plentiful, he said.

“We’re going to see some dryness return to the Delta, but that’s a marginal growing area. For the Midwest itself, I don’t see any sustained heat or dryness,” he said. “It’ll get up into the 90s in portions of the Midwest, I’m not saying that’s not going to happen, but I don’t see anything sustained.”

Brian Grossman, an analyst at Zaner Group in Chicago, said he’s heard reports recently that temperatures weren’t getting low enough overnight to ease stress from high temperatures in some areas, but that’s likely a thing of the past.

So far, his clients have told him they see few, if any, problems in terms of growing conditions.

“We’re warm, we’re wet – everything we need is there,” he said. “It’s really amazing how perfect the growing season is coming along.”

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