With more moderate temperatures along with scattered showers and thunderstorms, crop ratings have stabilized in the western Midwest with the exception of Iowa, which missed much of last week's rain. Nationally, corn good-to-excellent ratings were 1 percentage point below a week ago at 61% good to excellent. In Iowa, though, good-to-excellent ratings were down 3 points for corn at 65% good to excellent, and 2 points below a week ago for soybeans at 60% good to excellent.
On rainfall, this was the third-driest month of July in the state of Iowa during the past 25 years. The only two drier Julys were 2012 and 2013. Drier conditions in the eastern Midwest were also featured; however, these conditions in especially Indiana and Ohio improved crop ratings for corn and soybeans.
Regarding crop progress, much of the corn crop in the Midwest has finished pollinating and is mostly in the filling stage of development at this time. Generally around 50% of the soybean crop has set and is filling pods.
The weather outlook for the Midwest during the next week looks favorable. Hot high pressure is now showing a move to the western U.S., with more low pressure trough presence in the central U.S. This will allow for moderate temperatures and scattered showers and thunderstorms. Rainfall will be of greatest benefit in parts of western and southern Iowa, which remain dry. Rainfall will be somewhat unfavorable in Indiana and Ohio where soil moisture is already adequate to surplus.
Farther north, stressful dry conditions continue in the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies. Topsoil moisture in the Dakotas ranges from 70%-80% short to very short, while in Montana 96% of the topsoil is short to very short. This very dry pattern extends northward into southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. The Northern Plains will see limited heat during the next week, with mostly light shower activity. The western Prairies will see hot and dry conditions. Major losses to spring wheat in the Northern Plains and Prairies are expected. Losses to corn and soybeans in the Northern Plains and canola in the Prairies are also anticipated.
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