Record heat and dry conditions last week allowed most of the country to near harvest completion for corn at 91% complete. The region lagging the most is in the Eastern Corn Belt where Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are all below 90% complete. That is important as the region will be relatively wet for the next week. Two major storm systems are moving through the region: one early this week and another over the weekend. In between, there could still be some isolated showers across Wisconsin and Michigan, limiting time for drying and harvest.
Soybean harvest is also nearly finished at 92% complete. The Delta states are the ones further behind the pace. Despite some showers Nov. 10-11, conditions this week should be highly beneficial for progress to continue. Some showers may come through with a frontal boundary this weekend, but more likely the region remains dry and progress continues.
Cotton harvest stands at 61% complete. Progress is slowest in Oklahoma due to the prior week's rains and across the Southeast where heavy rainfall from passing tropical storms has been relatively consistent, causing wet soils and some quality issues. Scattered showers will increase through the rest of this week, especially if Tropical Storm Eta or its remnants moves through the region. The track of this system is not being handled well by models and is uncertain, but showers will be in the area regardless through Nov. 15, causing additional delays.
Winter wheat continues to have mixed conditions. Dryness in the past week contrasted with the prior week's moderate to heavy precipitation, especially across Oklahoma. Oklahoma's wheat rated either good or excellent had an 11-percentage point increase on Oct. 26 to 52% good to excellent on Nov. 9.
Kansas and Texas have seen much smaller increases due to much lighter precipitation, along with well-below freezing conditions in western areas causing some damage. Temperatures well-above normal last week allowed for some areas to recover, but the increases in the good-to-excellent ratings were small -- just 3 percentage points in Kansas and actually falling a percentage point in Texas. Showers will increase again in these areas Friday and Saturday, but western areas of the region will see much less precipitation, causing the drought to remain firmly entrenched.
Temperatures are also expected to fall below freezing over western areas through the rest of the work week, which could cause further stress.
Midwest winter wheat ratings remain relatively unchanged from the prior week as the above normal temperatures allowed good growth from the previous week's rainfall. Additional showers from two storms early this week and weekend will benefit the crops as they continue to avoid significant low temperatures for another week.
Overall, a couple of storm systems will continue to bring moderate precipitation across most of the country's remaining growing areas through mid-November, which will delay harvest but benefit developing winter wheat.
John Baranick can be reached at email@example.com
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