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Promising Weather Forecast for #Harvest18

The weather forecast looks mainly positive for the rest of this year’s growing season and moving into harvest.

“The weather will be fairly favorable for crops as they head through final maturation stages,” says Dale Mohler, senior Accuweather agricultural meteorologist. “There is fairly consistent rainfall, and temperatures are close to normal. I don’t think you could ask for more.”

For the next two weeks, daytime highs will be in the 70s in the north and the 80s through most of the Corn Belt. Temperatures will spike for a few days in the south, hitting the low 90s. Overnight lows will be close to average in the 50s and 60s.

Over the next week and a half, four systems will bring significant rainfall to the Midwest.

“The first rain bearing system is moving from the West to the East, bringing rain to the western and central Midwest today and central and eastern Midwest on Thursday into Friday,” says Mohler, adding that rainfall amounts will range from ¾ to 1 inch.

Another system will start up in the west on Sunday, August 19 and spread east by Monday, bringing 1 to 1¼ inches more of rain.

A third system will move across the southern half of the Belt next Wednesday, August 22, dropping ½ to 1 inch of precipitation.

The final system for this period starts on Sunday, August 26 with fairly widespread coverage across the Midwest with ¾ to 1½ inches of rain.

“Rain is pretty well spaced out and amounts to normal or above-normal rainfall for the next two weeks,” explains Mohler.

Harvest Forecast

“It’s going to be a warm fall and mixed as far as rainfall periods where it’s wetter some periods and drier others,” says Mohler. “Not ideal conditions necessarily, but I think it will be above average or better than average harvest conditions.”

The forecast shows the eastern Midwest may be slightly wetter than the western half, although the models aren’t predicting it to be particularly stormy. It also doesn’t look like it will be a cold fall.

Mohler isn’t worried about an early frost this year. “There might be patchy light frost slightly early in the northwest, but not enough or cold enough to cause significant problems,” he says. “Crops are ahead of normal this year, so that’s a plus that lowers the risk for an early frost.”

In its weekly Crop Progress Report on Monday, the USDA showed that 73% of corn is at the dough stage, well ahead of the 56% five-year average. One-quarter of corn is in the dent stage vs. a 13% five-year average. USDA rated 84% of the soybean crop as setting pods compared with the 72% five-year average.

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