We remain in a weather pattern that will feature above-normal rainfall throughout most of the Midwest and Delta. Current indications are this will continue through the end of the month. Saturated soils and episodes of flooding will prevent any significant fieldwork from taking place. Normal corn planting rates remain low through about April 20. Planting rates normally begin to pick up during the last 10 days of the month.
The weather pattern during the first half of May will be critical, as this will determine whether producers plant as much corn as they hoped; shift some acres to soybeans; or, in a worst-case scenario, some prevented-planting takes place. It is too soon to say at this time how the first half of May is shaping up. We should have some early ideas next week.
In the Northern Plains, North Dakota is expecting fieldwork to commence on April 28. With the main storm track expected to be south of North Dakota during the next 10 days, snowmelt over southern and eastern areas should be fairly orderly, so this date may be possible. However, there are indications in the 10- to 15-day period that it could turn wetter.
In the Southern Plains, adequate-to-surplus soil moisture in the winter wheat belt is very favorable to the developing crop. Because of this, it was surprising to see good-to-excellent crop ratings drop by eight percentage points in Colorado; six percentage points in Nebraska; and two percentage points in Oklahoma. Good-to-excellent crop ratings were up by one percentage point in Kansas, and four percentage points in Texas. With near-to-above normal rainfall expected to continue during the next 10 days, we remain quite optimistic on crop prospects.
In Brazil, the weather pattern remains quite favorable for developing second-crop (safrinha) corn in central crop areas, as episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms continue. The crop has been able to take advantage of early planting and an active second half of the rainy season, which shows no sign of ending at this time.
Central Argentina row crops are also faring well in late season, with beneficial soil moisture. Scattered showers during the next week will cause some brief harvest disruptions.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
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