Four to five days were available for fieldwork throughout the Midwest this past week with the exception of Ohio where only 2.5 days were available. Significant number of acres remain to be planted in Ohio. Planting seems to be getting along better in the western Midwest than the eastern Midwest, but there are unplanted acres all over the Midwest. Emergence of the corn crop is running about 2 weeks behind normal in Iowa and Minnesota. Soybean planting is nearly completed in much of the western Midwest, which is about 10 days to 2 weeks behind normal. Planting remains well behind normal in the eastern Midwest.
We see no end in sight to this wet pattern in the Midwest with near to above normal rainfall forecast throughout the region. Planted acreage is very uncertain this year due to a variety of reasons.
I am repeating my comments from last week about the character of this pattern that is causing this wet weather.
The most significant feature of this pattern is the continued blocking (high pressure) over northern North America. This feature has essentially been present since the latter part of winter. This allows for a stronger north-to-south temperature contrast across Canada and the U.S. with the result being a more-active southern branch of the jet stream. With the tendency for the jet stream to feature a trough over the central U.S. and a ridge in the east, this is a classic setup for wet weather in the nation's midsection.
If this pattern continues throughout summer there should not be any major concerns regarding hot weather during corn pollination. If it continues into the fall there will be concerns for an early freeze on large amounts of late developing crops.
I continue to be surprised at the lack of deterioration of winter wheat crop ratings in the Southern Plains due to wetness. Only in Texas was there any significant deterioration in crop ratings during the past week. Maturing winter wheat is normally affected by wetness with increased disease pressure and lower crop quality as well as harvest delays. The harvest is increasing but running well behind normal in Oklahoma and just getting underway in Kansas.
North Dakota crops are basically all planted and faring well.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at email@example.com
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