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 eight to 12 days behind normal in the western Midwest and 10-15 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 not much further improvement in soil moisture in the eastern Midwest during the past seven days. Short-to-very-short topsoil moisture stands at 39% in Indiana, 32% in Illinois and 30% in Ohio. Some improvement took place in the dry areas of east-central and southeast Iowa with 40-45% of the area short to very short. Short soil moisture in Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas stands at 10% or less.
Crop ratings in the main producing states are about unchanged with the exception of two states. Good-to-excellent ratings for corn and soybeans fell by 4 percentage points in Nebraska. And in Illinois, good-to-excellent ratings fell by 8 percentage points for corn and 5 percentage points for soybeans.
The continued lack of improvement in ratings, or in the case of Nebraska and Illinois a significant drop in ratings, is likely related to the crop not experiencing the type of weather it would expect to see at this stage of development.
There are still no reports of leaf drop for soybeans throughout the eastern Midwest and in Minnesota and Iowa in the west. This may be unprecedented for this time of the year.
The outlook for the Midwest calls for mostly above normal temperatures during the next seven to 10 days. Rainfall is expected to be near- to above-normal for the western Midwest, near- to below-normal for the eastern Midwest during the next five days, and below normal in all areas for days six to 10.
This is a very 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 looking like we will get through the first 15-20 days of the month without a damaging freeze.
It also appears the Canadian Prairies and Northern Plains will not see a growing season ending freeze through the middle of the month.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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