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Rain Is Coming Back to the Midwest, Harvest Delays Won’t Be Significant
A nearly 10-day window of dry harvest weather may be ending for Midwest farmers.
Rain is coming back into the Corn Belt, but there is good news for farmers: It won’t last long.
After a dry stretch so far this week, rain will move into the western part of the Midwest by late Thursday.
“That rainy pattern is expected to move into the central and eastern Corn Belt on Friday, before easing up on Saturday and returning to the northwestern Midwest on Sunday,” according to Don Keeney, senior ag meteorologist at Radiant Solutions.
A storm is pushing through the southwestern Plains that could slow harvest down for a bit with rain this weekend. Then the rain will hold off at the beginning of next week, before returning next Thursday and Friday, Keeney says.
“Neither rain event should produce any heavy rainfall,” Keeney says. “There won’t be any issues with (too much) wetness or flooding.”
Harvest has already experienced delay in much of the Midwest after significant rainfall in late September and early October.
In Iowa, the average rainfall in October is 2.6 inches. That average total was already surpassed this month on October 9.
The USDA’s Crop Progress Report released on Monday showed that corn harvest was ahead of the five-year average at 49%, but soybeans were only 53% complete, significantly below the five-year average of 69% at this time.
The rain could cause slight delays in harvest, but it won’t be nearly as bad as the precipitation experienced last month, which is good news for farmers.
“The delays aren’t going to be significant,” Keeney says. “Once things start to dry out again, farmers should be able to very quickly get back into the fields.”
Early projections show that November is expected to be weather as usual. Temperatures are expected to be around normal heading into the first few weeks of November, fluctuating in the 40’s.
Keeney expects the precipitation levels to be generally near normal in the first part of the month. In the second half, precipitation levels are expected to go down, as the Midwest enters a drier pattern that will last into the middle and latter portions of November.
Will snow be a concern in the northern Corn Belt states?
The next few weeks appear to have warm, even above-normal temperatures in northern states such as Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin. Over the next 10 days at least, farmers shouldn’t have any concern about snow causing any interruptions before harvest can progress in the northern Plains, Keeney says.
In that next 11- to 15-day period, the possibility does creep in that temperatures will go down, but for the majority of the Corn Belt, the snow isn’t expected to be too much of an interference.
“The only snow I see would be far northeastern Minnesota,” he says, “and maybe a little bit of northern North Dakota, as well.”