The Weather Front On-Line
Across the Corn Belt, wet fields, and gusty winds are hampering fieldwork, especially across northern and eastern portions of the region. On October 9 in Ohio, the soybean harvest was 3% complete, compared to the 5-year average of 38%. Similarly, only 5% of Ohio’s winter wheat had been planted, compared to the 5-year average of 41%.
Across the Corn Belt, scattered showers are gradually closing a window of opportunity for fieldwork. Nearly one-third (32%) of the nation’s soybean acreage was harvested during the week ending October 9, paced by Iowa (49% harvested in a week; 70% overall) and Minnesota (48% in a week; 83% overall).
A near-perfect spell of weather continues under a sunny sky, a light southeast wind and high temperatures around 80-degrees. A cold front is forecast to move through on Wednesday night, with showers possible as early as Tuesday night. Thunderstorms will be more focused closer to the cold front, however. The periodic precipitation should come to an end on Thursday.
Recent rainfall has significantly improved the drought conditions south of I-70, and north of I-74. In between, moderate to severe drought continues. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, severe drought conditions exist over portions of central Illinois, roughly from about Monticello, westward. Moderate drought conditions were reported in east-central Illinois.
Across the Corn Belt, very warm, dry weather west of the Mississippi River remains ideal for summer crop maturation and harvesting. During the week ending October 2, more than one-quarter of the soybeans were harvested in North Dakota (38% harvested in a week; 43% overall), Minnesota (32% in a week; 35% overall), and South Dakota (28% in a week; 30% overall).
Across the Corn Belt, widespread weekend frost resulted in only minor impacts on rapidly maturing crops. Currently, cool weather and scattered showers linger across eastern-most areas, including Ohio. Elsewhere in the Midwest, mild, dry weather is ideal for corn and soybean maturation and harvesting.
On the Plains, cooler weather is providing relief from a late-season heat wave on the drought-stricken southern Plains. However, the southern Plains’ soil moisture shortages continue to discourage many producers from planting winter wheat. Meanwhile, record-setting warmth is already returning to the northern High Plains, where Friday’s high temperatures will approach 90°.
In the Corn Belt, a pesky storm continues to limit fieldwork due to cool, humid weather and scattered showers. By September 25, the soybean harvest was just 3% complete in Indiana and had not yet begun in Ohio—11 points behind the 5-year average in both states.
In the Corn Belt, cool weather and widespread showers are slowing fieldwork, including early-season corn harvesting. Some of the heaviest rain is falling in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and from Michigan southward into the middle Ohio Valley.