Ag Weather Forum

Poor Weather Slows Harvest Progress

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The weather outlook for the Midwest calls for warm weather during the next five days with little precipitation. However, chances for precipitation increases in southern and eastern areas of the Midwest by the weekend. (DTN graphic)

Harvest progress remains slow in the Midwest and Northern Plains due to episodes of cold, unsettled weather.

Soybean harvest progress is running two weeks behind normal in Minnesota and should normally be finished by now. It is running four days behind normal in Iowa.

The states experiencing the worst conditions are in southern and eastern portions of the Midwest extending into the north Delta. There, areas still have as much as 25% of the crop still out in the fields.

Crop quality and lower yields are occurring and this will continue to happen under the expected weather pattern. Due to the late harvest of the soybean crop, the corn harvest is also behind normal. Some of this crop could be left in the fields until spring if any major winter storms develop.

The weather pattern during the next six to 10 days is not expected to be favorable for the harvest. The greatest precipitation will be in the states that are furthest behind on the soybean harvest. Precipitation will average near to above normal in the eastern Midwest, near to below normal in the western Midwest and mostly below normal in the Northern Plains. Colder than normal temperatures means that some of this precipitation will be in the form of snow or ice.

Adequate to surplus soil moisture in the Southern Plains is very favorable for late-fall development of wheat. However, recent cold weather has slowed crop development with crop emergence running behind normal in all states. The weather outlook calls for warm weather during the next five days followed by cold weather in the six- to 10-day period. Little precipitation is expected.

We continue to see very favorable weather for developing soybeans in virtually all growing areas of Brazil. The only issue they may have going forward would be disruptions to the early harvest at the end of the year due to a continued active rainy season in central Brazil.

Less rainfall in central Argentina will favor corn and soybean planting and development after recent heavy rains delayed planting and likely forced some replanting.

Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equatorial pacific for the first half of November is plus 1.7. This is up from the plus 1.4 observed during the month of October. The sea surface temperature departures are indicative of an El Nino. However, atmospheric indicators have yet to show a similar situation. We can say that observed weather in the U.S., with stormy conditions over the southern and eastern U.S., and wet weather in central Argentina, are indicative of an El Nino.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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