OMAHA (DTN) -- Crop damage and harvest disruption from a central U.S. winter storm, and variable rainfall across Brazil, are key weather items for the commodity trade's attention Thursday.
MIDWEST RAIN AND COLD
The DTN ag weather forecast calls for wet conditions in the western Midwest through the end of the week. This is unfavorable for maturing crops. A season-ending freeze in western areas is also likely at the end of the week. Frost and a light freeze may also occur eastward to the Mississippi River. Eastern Midwest areas will have rain showers, offering some soil moisture benefit while disrupting harvest.
MAJOR NORTHERN PLAINS SNOWSTORM
Northern Plains crop areas will have a major snow and wind storm through Saturday. This includes the risk for blizzard conditions. Snowfall will exceed 3 feet in central and eastern North Dakota. This storm will disrupt travel, transport and harvest along with causing crop damage. Livestock is also at risk from this system. Hardest-hit areas are expected to be in central and eastern North Dakota and possibly northeastern South Dakota. Following the storm, much lower temperatures will mean a growing-season-ending hard freeze.
COLD SOUTHERN PLAINS FORECAST
In the southern Plains, much colder conditions continue in the forecast through the coming weekend. Germination and early development of recently planted winter wheat will slow with the colder temperatures. Rain in eastern areas and mixed precipitation in the northwest will also bring some delays in wheat planting and in row crop harvest.
SOUTHERN PRAIRIES STORM
The southeastern Canadian Prairies are in store for heavy rain and snow through Friday. Strong winds are also in store, leading to blizzard conditions. Travel, transport and harvesting will come to a standstill for an extended period. Hard freeze conditions during the next few days will damage immature crops.
VARIABLE BRAZIL RAIN CHANCES
Across Brazil, more rain is needed to initiate widespread soybean planting. However, rainfall will be variable. North-central areas and far southern areas have the best rainfall prospect during the next week. Planting is likely to remain behind average due to the inconsistent rainfall. Total Brazil soybean planting is off to the slowest start in six years.
SHOWERS FOR ARGENTINA
Crop areas in Argentina continue with moderate rain in the forecast through the next seven days. This moisture will be favorable for corn planting and for winter wheat.
WARMER UKRAINE PATTERN
In the Black Sea region, Ukraine and Russia crop areas have improved soil moisture for winter grains following shower and thunderstorm activity during the past week. Warmer temperatures in the next week will favor early growth of winter grains.
SCATTERED AUSTRALIA RAIN
Eastern Australia wheat areas have scattered light rainfall in the forecast through the end of the week. The greatest crop benefit will be for sorghum and for irrigation supplies for cotton. Wheat prospects remain diminished because of drought.
Bryce Anderson can be reached at email@example.com
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