Wet, Cool Conditions Slow Crop Growth Across Midwest

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:23 AM

Wetness Hampering Midwest Corn

Corn conditions have deteriorated in a cold wet environment especially in the Upper Midwest where near-freezing temperatures developed on the weekend. A cold wave over the weekend dropped temperatures as low as 33 F threatening corn in northern Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These were the nighttime minimum temperatures, the afternoon highs only 55-60 F.

Midwest temperatures are expected to continue cooler than average over the next few days. Gradual warming is predicted by the weekend, however.

Soggy Fields Slow Growth

Midwest field conditions are extremely wet from relentless May rainfall. Indianapolis, Indiana, accrued a 3-inch rainfall surplus with stormy May weather, 66% above the average value. Grand Island Nebraska reports a 4-inch rainfall surplus with 7.5 inches of rain all together in the recent 30 days. Sioux City, Iowa, is abnormally wet with 7.4 inches of rainfall and 82% above the mean in the past 30 days.


Forecast Improving

The Midwest rainfall forecast is mostly dry for the week ahead. Showers are predicted today and Tuesday in the southernmost portion of the corn belt south Nebraska, Missouri and southern Illinois. Northern corn farms would remain mostly dry, though scattered showers cannot be ruled out today and Tuesday.


We wonder if the cool wet field conditions have damaged corn necessitating replanting, particularly in the low-lying areas. In any case corn development has been set back with cold wet field conditions, a less rosy outlook than indicated previously.

The 6-10 day forecast is warmer for the Midwest, though scattered showers are expected to resume in late May.


Great Plains Wheat Improving

The rainy and cool weather conditions have improved prospects in hard red winter wheat. Ample rains have continued in May, following a wet April. A "cool season" crop, wheat thrives with rainy weather and moderate temperatures.. Wheat vegetation has sharply improved in Oklahoma and Kansas, the two leading U.S. winter wheat states. A robust wheat harvest is in the making confirmed by remote satellite the deep blue color indicating much above average vegetation.


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