Ag Weather Forum

Unsettled Pattern Disrupts Harvest

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Corn harvest is running slow, with western Midwest progress the slowest since 2009. (DTN file photo by Jim Patrico)

Corn harvest remains well-behind normal in the western Midwest. The latest western Midwest harvest progress numbers show corn harvest in Minnesota two weeks behind last year and 22 days behind normal. In Iowa, corn and soybean harvests are at the lowest levels for this date since 2009, with the corn harvest two weeks behind normal. With more favorable conditions last week, producers concentrated on soybeans. This is expected to continue until the soybean harvest is finished.

At this point, the concern would be that an early-season snow event in November could force producers totally out of the fields and unable to harvest the remaining corn. At this time, all we see is some light mixed precipitation in the northwest Midwest during the next week, taking us through the rest of October. Producers should keep a close eye on the forecast as we head into November for any indications of a significant snow event.

In the eastern Midwest, harvest is running better, with soybean progress running ahead of normal. Corn harvest progress, however, is behind normal as producers concentrate on soybeans. Harvest weather is expected to be unsettled at times with a turn towards cooler conditions during the next week.

Winter wheat planting progress remains behind normal in the major producing states of Kansas and Oklahoma. A turn to colder weather later in the week will slow fall development. Soil moisture remains adequate.

In South America, some beneficial rain occurred in the major soybean areas of central Brazil this past weekend. However, the rain was not heavy enough to end concerns about planting and development of the crop after two weeks of hot and dry conditions. Rainfall is expected to remain limited through the weekend. The next chance of some significant rainfall will be early next week. Central Brazil soybean planting is already two weeks behind the pace of a year ago. It is looking more likely that this will be a late soybean crop this year because of the heat and dryness-induced slow planting, along with some replanting. We have never seen a significant drought in central Brazil during the summer months, so we think eventually the crop will be planted and development will improve. The main implication of this pattern could be its impact on second-crop corn (safrinha) following soybeans. This pattern could lead to a significant reduction in corn acreage due to the late harvest of soybeans this year which would push the development period for corn deeper into the dry season.

Conditions remain favorable for planting and development of corn in the main growing areas of central Argentina.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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