The very high condition ratings scored by corn a week ago when the initial postings of the season were made, were matched by soybeans this week. The first soybean crop ratings of the season showed 75% good to excellent, matching the highest-on-record figure going back to 1986. Corn ratings had only a slight decrease, from 79% good to excellent a week ago, to a still-lofty 78% good to excellent total.
In the corn ratings, Minnesota is the state leader with 88% good to excellent. The lowest-rated major producing state is Indiana, but with a still-robust 77% good to excellent total. The national rating of the soybean crop also carries over into state ratings as well, with very high marks in either the good or excellent categories. In progress, corn is all planted. Soybean planting is nearing completion. Soil moisture is mostly adequate in the major growing areas. Temperatures have been on the warm side, with Iowa experiencing one of its warmest months of May on record. However, this warmth has not negatively affected crops, due to the availability of soil moisture.
Looking to the next seven to 10 days, the forecast offers continued very favorable conditions for corn and soybeans. The reason for this is the inability for any significant high pressure to set up over the Midwest. We have seen some upper-air high pressure ridges building over the southwest and south-central states during the past couple of weeks. However, forecast guidance suggests that the center of the ridge will remain over the southwest and south-central U.S. To the north of this ridge, a strong jet stream will flow across the northern U.S. and southern Canada, separating the cooler weather to the north from the hotter weather to the south.
Disturbances embedded within this jet stream will be the focus of frequent episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms. The frequency of rain events will be enough to maintain mostly adequate soil moisture. Episodes of above- to much-above-normal temperatures are of little concern as long as frequent showers continue.
Farther down the road, there is no sign at this time of a dominant ridge developing in either the high, middle or lower latitudes of North America.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.