Ag Weather Forum

Western Midwest Harvest Delayed

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The overall weather pattern during the next seven to 10 days will feature much less rain than what we have seen in the past two weeks. The seven-day precipitation forecast shows a drier pattern for the western Midwest. (Graphic courtesy of NOAA/National Weather Service)

Another week of wet weather in the western Midwest has kept harvest progress quite slow. The corn harvest in Minnesota is running two weeks behind last year and 22 days behind average.

The corn harvest in Iowa is the slowest since 2009 and more than two weeks behind average. Soybean harvest progress in Iowa is the slowest since 1985. This is already the seventh wettest October in Iowa in 145 years and we are only half way through the month. The only good news out of all of this is that topsoil moisture supplies have improved dramatically from a month ago in Iowa and Nebraska.

The overall weather pattern during the next seven-to-10 days will feature much less rain than what we have seen in the past two weeks. Temperatures will remain on the mild side. There is no sign of any weather cold enough to solidify the ground. This is a better outlook, but not good enough at this time of the year to allow for rapid harvesting, as it is much harder to dry out fields due to the shorter days.

The eastern Midwest is faring better with the harvest. In fact, soybean harvest progress is running at or a little ahead of normal. We would expect to see continued harvest progress during the next seven-to-10 days due to limited rainfall and overall drier field conditions than in the west.

Winter wheat planting progress remains well behind normal in the major producing states of Kansas and Oklahoma. Planting weather looks good over the next seven-to-10 days. Pre winter development also looks good due to adequate soil moisture and mild weather.

The weather pattern in central Brazil has really caught our attention. After some planting rains early in the month, the weather pattern during the past couple of weeks has gone hot and dry. This has likely slowed, if not halted, planting and may force some replanting. The next chance of any significant rainfall appears to be early next week. This is going to end up being a very late planting season for central Brazil. This may have an impact on double-crop corn acreage down the road.

Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equatorial Pacific for the first half of October is minus 0.8. This is unchanged from the September departure. There continues to be call for a developing La Nina in the next few months. However, at this time the weather patterns in South America look more like an El Nino with dry weather in central Brazil and west weather in southern Brazil and Argentina.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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