Corn and soybean development remains well-behind normal in most of the Midwest and Northern Plains.
Latest crop reports indicate corn and soybean development is running about 10 days behind normal in the western Midwest and 10-14 days behind normal in the eastern Midwest. Crop progress has been running consistently behind normal since the planting delays in the spring as temperatures have not been consistently high enough to accelerate development.
There has been some improvement in rainfall in the dry areas of the eastern Midwest during the past seven days. Short-to-very-short topsoil moisture over Illinois, Indiana and Ohio ranges from 28-36%. It has actually turned a little drier across Iowa with the driest areas in east-central and southeast parts of the state ranging from 47-55% short.
The best crop rating in the major producing states continues to be in Nebraska. Good-to-excellent ratings for corn at 77% is up 3 percentage points from a week ago. Soybeans at 79% is up 6 percentage points from a week ago. Ratings elsewhere in the major production states are unchanged to down as much as 4 percentage points with the exception of Ohio which is up 3-4 points.
The outlook for the Midwest calls for variable temperatures through the weekend and near-to-above normal temperatures next week. Rainfall is expected to be near to below normal. This is a favorable forecast for a crop that is running so late. We still have to take the forecast week-to-week, as it is nearly impossible to predict the first freeze of the fall beyond five to seven days. But it is beginning to look like we will get to the middle of the month with no concerns.
It also appears the Canadian Prairies and Northern Plains will not see a growing season ending freeze into the middle of the month as the models have been moving away from the cooler pattern that they had been showing a week or two ago. However, this situation can change quickly.
Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean for the month of August was minus 0.3 degrees Celsius. The departure in July was minus 0.4. The sea surface temperature pattern seems to have stabilized at slightly below normal levels.
Mike Palmerino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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