Crop ratings for corn and soybeans in the major producing states of the Midwest are either unchanged or improved last week with the percent rated good to excellent ranging from the middle 70s to 80 for corn and mostly in the middle 70s for soybeans. Most of the news last week was good with some beneficial rain in most areas improving soil moisture conditions. And any areas that missed the rain last week are expected to receive some this week. This is setting us up for some very favorable weather for corn pollination in the Midwest with no persistent heat or dryness expected. The reason for this is that the subtropical ridge that has brought hot weather to the southern states at times is unable to establish itself far enough to the north to have a major impact on the Midwest. Despite model indications at times that this could happen, we are not willing to buy into this idea based on the overall character of the pattern so far this growing season.
Favorable weather conditions for crops also extend up across the Northern Plains with improved soil moisture last week. However northeast North Dakota has reported that soils are a little too wet with some standing water in fields. We expect the overall favorable weather pattern to continue. Spring wheat crop development is running well ahead of normal with most fields in the filling and maturing stages of development. Corn and soybean development is also running ahead of normal.
The winter wheat harvest is essentially over in the major growing areas of the Southern Plains. Despite some hot weather at times, soil moisture levels remain pretty good for row crops over much of the area with the prospects for some additional rains later in the week. However the possible turn to hot, dry weather during the 6-10 day period will deplete soil moisture and increase stress on corn and soybeans.
The Delta states have seen some improving soil moisture for filling corn and soybeans with more expected later in the week.
Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure for the eastern equatorial Pacific stands at -0.1 degrees Celsius below normal for the month of June. This is barely down from the 0.0 degree departure observed during the month of May. After a rapid fall off of sea surface temperatures from March to April it appears that temperatures have stabilized at near normal levels so far this summer.
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