Ag Weather Forum

Weather Favors Crop Ratings

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Corn crop ratings for this year, 2018, are notably more robust than at the start of the last few years. (USDA NASS graphic)

Crop ratings for corn in the six major Midwest states range from 82-86% good to excellent, except 78% in Indiana. This is one of the highest -- if not the highest -- initial rating on record going back to 1986. Planting is essentially complete. Soil moisture is mostly adequate except for a few spots in southeast Nebraska and southern Iowa.

Soybean planting progress is running ahead of normal throughout the Midwest and is nearing completion in Illinois. The outlook for the next week looks quite favorable, with the chance of some moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms in the western Midwest on Saturday. Temperatures will stay warm, in a near- to above-normal range.

As we head into the month of June, we will be watching the position of upper-atmosphere high-pressure ridges over North America. Whether any significant ridging sets up over high latitudes, middle latitudes or lower latitudes will dictate the character of the weather pattern. High-latitude ridging would be favorable for crops in the Midwest. Mid- and low-latitude ridging could be of concern, depending upon the location of the ridges. At this point, the situation is indeterminate, with some weak ridging showing up in all three areas during the next 10 days, but none being dominant. This would imply a continuation of very favorable growing conditions through the first week of June. We will continue to watch this situation closely with weekly updates.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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