Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Rains in U.S. to provide minor benefit to mature crops

Rain in the U.S. over the weekend and more showers forecast for the central and eastern Midwest this week will not buoy corn or soybean production, an agriculture meteorologist said Tuesday.

Corn and soybean crops are in their late filling stage of development and rainfall now will provide only minor benefit to each crop. 

“We’re looking at daily showers from now through Saturday in the central and eastern Midwest,” said Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.

Keeney said rainfall from 0.25 to 1.5 inches in the central and eastern Midwest would be received, but it would remain dry in the western Midwest.

Temperatures will remain below seasonal norms with highs in the 60 to 70 F range this week and the lows in the 40s F with no threat of frost seen to any area of Midwest crop production, Keeney and other meteorologists said.

“It will be warmer next week with the highs in the upper 70s to low 80s F,” he said.

Heavy rainfall over the weekend in the U.S. Delta on fallout from Tropical Storm Lee also provided little to no benefit to crops because of their advanced maturity.

From four to eight inches and as much as 12 inches of rain fell in portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, most of Alabama, western Georgia and eastern Tennessee, according to Telvent DTN. 

Keeney also said little to no relief from the drought in the U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat region was expected.

“They had a few showers in northwest Texas but nothing of significance,” he said.

Temperatures in the Plains States are to remain below normal this week in the 70s and 80s F then warm into the mid-90s F next week.

A heat wave in July followed by drier-than-desired weather in August has led to lowered forecasts for this year’s U.S. corn and soybean production.

On Thursday, commodity brokerage firm INTL FC Stone lowered its forecast for this year’s corn crop to 12.35 billion bushels, down form its forecast in August for 13.002 billion and dropped its outlook for soybean production to 3.03 billion bushels from the previous outlook for 3.145 billion.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s current outlook is for corn output at 12.914 billion and soybean production at 3.056 billion. USDA will release updated estimates Sept. 12.

USDA last week said 54 per cent of the U.S. corn crop was in good to excellent condition, down from 57 per cent a week ago and down from 70 per cent a year ago. Fifty-seven per cent of the soybean crop was in good to excellent condition, down from 59 per cent a week ago and down from 64 per cent a year ago.

USDA said nine per cent of the corn crop was mature, 53 per cent was dented and 88 per cent was doughing. And, two per cent of the soybean crop was dropping leaves while 93 per cent was setting pods.

The drought in the Plains is leading to concerns about the fate of seedings of the 2012 HRW wheat crop. 

Portions of central and northern Kansas have received significant rainfall recently but only minor showers have occurred in the severely affected states of Texas and Oklahoma. 

Climate experts said Thursday that record-breaking triple-digit temperatures were prolonging a devastating drought that has been baking the U.S. South and the dry spell could extend into next year and beyond.

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