Days suitable for fieldwork increased over much of the Midwest during the past seven days. However, soils remain saturated in all areas. A little more fieldwork and early corn planting is being accomplished.
Near-to-below-normal rainfall through Friday will allow continued limited fieldwork and planting. However, current indications are the weather pattern could turn wetter over the weekend and next week. We still do not see any sign of a major break in the wet weather pattern, implying planting progress will remain behind normal for the foreseeable future.
Adequate to surplus soil moisture in the southern plains winter wheat belt is very favorable to the developing crop. Good-to-excellent ratings were up 1 percentage point from last week in Texas and Nebraska, and 11 percentage points in Colorado. Good-to-excellent ratings were down 2 percentage points in Kansas and 4 points in Oklahoma, but I would not make much of that statistic. With near-to-above-normal rainfall expected to continue during the next 10 days we remain quite optimistic on crop prospects.
The weather pattern remains very favorable for developing second-crop (safrinha) corn in central Brazil as episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms continue. The crop has been able to take advantage of early planting and an active and extended second half of the rainy season.
Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean for the first half of April was plus 1.1 degrees Celsius. This is down from plus 1.5 in March, but still within weak El Nino levels. Recent flooding in northern Argentina is being blamed on El Nino.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
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