Weekend Midwest Heat Watch

Western Corn Belt Weekend Stress Possible

Bryce Anderson , DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
The ability of developing corn to utilize soil moisture reserves will be important in withstanding a strong round of heat over the next five days. (DTN photo by Bryce Anderson)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Hot conditions, mimicking those of almost exactly a year ago, are indicated in forecasts for much of the central U.S. during the June 10-12 weekend. High temperatures of 95 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit are featured for parts of Iowa and Illinois, with mid- to upper-90s indicated over much of the remainder of the Midwest. Central and southern Plains areas have similar intense heat.

Farmers, grain processors and traders will all be paying attention to the heat buildup along with its duration. In that regard, DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino is optimistic that a long-lasting stressful period of heat is not likely.

"This warm and dry pattern is mostly favorable for Midwest crops after the wet and cool time we saw in May," Palmerino said. "Producers have been able to finish their planting, and in most of the Midwest, you have good moisture for crops to send roots into and get established."

The upper-atmosphere pattern also is staying away from one of stagnant features. "The next six to 10 days will likely offer a variable temperature pattern for the north-central U.S., with a mild and warm pattern elsewhere across the Midwest. Temperatures will be warm, but on a near- to above-normal trend," Palmerino said. "Also, we look for near- to above-normal precipitation during the six- to 10-day period."

Ahead of the hot period, DTN Analyst Todd Hultman noted that grain prices were higher for the week. "After trading in a narrow, sideways range all spring, December corn prices made their bullish break on Wednesday and closed up 15 cents on the week, thanks to new concerns of extreme heat coming to the Midwest," Hultman said.

But the spark for the rally appears to be just from one side of the trade -- the noncommercials, who do not have the day-to-day contact with crops the way that commercial traders do. "Neither corn's basis nor futures spreads indicate that commercials are willing to pay up yet for corn," Hultman said. "This means that the current uptrend is largely dependent on noncommercial buying and how the current forecasts play out, and that is a potentially volatile scenario."

Bryce Anderson can be reached at bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(AG)