Ag Weather Forum

Variable Midwest Conditions Ahead

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
U.S. soybean ratings declined by three percentage points on the good to excellent total, but are still showing some promising numbers for yield relative to the previous five seasons. (DTN ProphetX graphic)

Last week's good to excellent crop ratings for western Midwest row crops were down by one to three points due to dryness. Eastern Midwest ratings were unchanged to up a little except in Ohio, where ratings were up by 5-7 points. This was due to some timely and beneficial rain.

Since these crop ratings came out, there has been some timely and beneficial rain in the western Midwest and some continued rainfall in the east. The overall weather pattern during the next 7 to 10 days will feature a moderate to strong ridge continuing to dominate the western U.S. and another moderate to strong ridge in the southwest Atlantic Ocean. Between these two ridges, a weak trough will dominate the central U.S. The main focus for rainfall with this trough will be from the southeastern Plains into the southern and eastern Midwest. The driest areas will be the northwest Midwest and Northern Plains. This pattern bears watching for filling corn and soybeans in the northwest Midwest and Northern Plains due to the drier trend. It will be favorable in the eastern Midwest. We could also see some locally heavy rain develop in Missouri; however, with topsoil moisture currently at 85% short to very short, some significant damage has already been done to corn. There may be some benefit to soybeans. No persistent heat is expected with this pattern in the Midwest, due to the impact of the trough. Some persistence of hot weather is expected in the Northern Plains away from the trough with some of the ridging in the west nosing into the region at times.

Internationally, the hot and dry weather pattern in northern Europe that has had a significant impact on wheat and corn will be less intense during the next week, with more moderate temperatures and episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms.

The Indian monsoon is in a lull in the major west-central oilseed areas. Currently, soil moisture remains adequate in the major soybean area of western Madhya Pradesh, but is being depleted. Some limited showers are expected during the next seven days. Any return to significant monsoon rains appears to be more than seven to ten days away.

Mike Palmerino can be reached at



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