Ag Weather Forum

Late-October Harvest Window

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
An upper-atmosphere low-pressure trough over the central U.S. for the 10-day timeframe suggests a cool and wetter trend focusing over the eastern Midwest. (Graphic courtesy of

Soybean harvest progress continues to run behind normal in the western Midwest and Northern Plains, but not at the levels observed a week ago. Soybean harvest progress a week ago was running 10 days to two weeks behind normal. It is now running only about a week behind normal. The corn harvest also remains behind normal except near normal in Minnesota. The corn and soybean harvests in the eastern Midwest continue to run ahead of normal in most areas.

The weather pattern during the next six to 10 days is expected to feature less-than-ideal harvest conditions. The wettest weather will be in the eastern Midwest, where a couple episodes of moderate to heavy rain are expected. The western Midwest and Northern Plains could see several episodes of light to locally moderate precipitation. The upper-level pattern will feature a broad trough over the central and eastern U.S., and a ridge in the western Atlantic Ocean.

The further to the west you are in the central U.S., the more limited the precipitation. The further to the east, the more precipitation you will see due to the combination of the trough aloft and a ridge in the western Atlantic opening the flow of Gulf moisture into eastern portions of the central U.S. The weather will be variable: milder ahead of systems, and cooler behind them. Harvest delays will lead to continued quality issues for soybeans as well as some possible crop losses.

Adequate to surplus soil moisture in the Southern Plains is very favorable for pre-winter development of wheat. However, the wet weather has slowed planting in the major growing states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas with progress remaining behind normal in all three states.

We continue to see very favorable weather for planting and developing soybeans in the major growing areas of Brazil. With an El Nino forecast during the growing season, we would expect favorable weather to continue. The only area that may be dry would be in the far northeast growing areas (Bahia). This area has received some limited rainfall during the past few days. Favorable conditions are also seen at this time for corn and soybean planting in central Argentina.

We will have our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure for the month of October in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean next week.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



To comment, please Log In or Join our Community .