The latest crop reports that came out on Monday afternoon show no real surprises. Due to the generally open weather during the first 2-3 weeks of October harvest progress for corn and soybeans is running at or ahead of normal in most states with the soybean harvest mostly complete in the western Midwest and northern Plains. Corn harvest is 75 percent complete, with progress in soybean harvest at 87 percent. The weather pattern during the next 7-10 days will not be as favorable for the remaining harvest, especially across the southern and eastern Midwest and the southern U.S. as a wetter pattern associated with the strong El Nino kicks in.
The El Nino will favor pre-winter development of wheat in both the hard wheat areas of the southern Plains and the soft wheat areas of the Ohio Valley and north Delta as near to above normal rainfall is expected in both locations during the next 10 days. El Ninos during the fall season correlate with wetter than normal conditions over much of the southern U.S. Wheat can use some better conditions; 47 percent of the winter wheat crop rates good to excellent this week, compared with 59 percent good to excellent a year ago.
Overseas, we continue to wait for the rainy season to kick in over the major soybean areas of Mato Grosso, Brazil. During an El Nino, the rainy season can be delayed. However, this year it has been delayed a little longer than expected. We are starting to see signs of an increase in rainfall during the next 7 days with the expectations of a more normal rainfall pattern developing during the month of November which will initiate more widespread planting. Soil moisture conditions are generally adequate to surplus over southern Brazil and central Argentina for corn and soybeans with the expectations that this will continue under an El Nino pattern.
There has been a lot of interest in dry weather in east Ukraine and south Russia and its possible impact on the winter wheat crop. We do know that the crop in these areas will be going into winter not as well established as producers would like due to this dryness. If the winter is severely cold under limited snow cover and spring rains are lacking the crop could be poor. If the crop experiences a mild winter, good snow cover and favorable spring rains the crop could exceed expectations.
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