More moderate weather in the western Midwest has reduced stress to filling corn and soybeans. However, some very dry areas persist in southern and western Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas.
Hot weather in July and continued dry weather has clearly had an impact on production in these areas. I was a little surprised to see crop ratings down in Illinois, as short soil moisture levels have generally been around 30 to 35% since the beginning of July. Crop ratings in Indiana and Ohio have improved due to favorably drier weather.
The weather outlook for the Midwest is uncertain today. The blocking ridge in Canada that has forced the jet stream southward into the Midwest is forecast to persist. However, the position of the block differs between the U.S. and European models in the six-to-10 day period.
The U.S. model shifts the block further to the north in Canada. This would allow for some variability of temperatures, but no significant hot weather along with some chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms.
The European model sets up the block over the Prairies and Northern Plains with a strong trough over the eastern U.S. This would maintain a dry pattern for the Midwest with some hot weather west of the Missouri River.
So, the outlook for filling corn and soybeans remains quite uncertain as we head through August with further reductions in crop production a distinct possibility.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
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