Martell: Adverse Midwest Weather to Continue

June 3, 2013 04:17 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of 

Wettest Week Yet in the Midwest

A wave train of showers brought 3-6 inches of rainfall to the Midwest last week, causing widespread flooding. It was the wettest week thus far in an incredibly wet spring planting season. Due to the late calendar date, Midwest producers may have no recourse but to file for insurance. Prior to last week's heavy rainfall, U.S. corn planting was 86% complete. The slowest progress is in the northern Midwest Minnesota, northern Iowa, Wisconsin and South Dakota.

7 Day Observed Rainfall

Only 44% of U.S. soybeans were planted by May 26. Soybean yields are less sensitive to planting date, but it is growing too late even to plant soybeans. The height of soybeans becomes an important matter with delayed planting. After June 1, soybean plant height is sharply reduced leading to fewer pods. The size of the seed is not necessarily affected, depending on rainfall in the pod filing period late July to early September. (Modern Soybean Production Walter Scott and Samuel Aldrich).

Other Areas Also Impacted

We've been focusing on Midwest crops, but northern spring wheat also is in serious jeopardy from severe wetness and planting delays. North Dakota wheat was only 62% planted May 26th the 4th slowest pace on record. Spring wheat yields typically decline when planting is severely delayed, due to cooler climate and reduced heat units in the northern Great Plains. Two other instances of severe planting delays in 2011 and 1995 led to production losses from 20% to 35%.

The Mid-South has flooded from heavy rainfall in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. Planting will suffer another serious set-back in another 14% of United States soybeans. The Mid South also grows soft red winter wheat that is subject to flooding and disease.

A rash of strong thunderstorms brought tornadoes to Kansas and Oklahoma last week. There is more devastation and loss of life. The one positive effect it was the heavy rainfall that accompanied strong thunderstorms. Hard red winter wheat is expected to improve in the top 2 winter wheat states in USDA's June 1 report due out today.

Adverse Weather to Continue

Cool temperatures are expected to prevail in the heartland this week. More rain is also predicted, more than one inch and up to 3 inches in strong thunderstorms in southeast Iowa and western Illinois. The persistent spring wetness is reminiscent of 1993, the year of the Great Midwest Flood. Extreme wetness that summer proved very detrimental for corn. The yield plummeted 17.5% below trend from reduced fertility, as fertilizers were repeatedly flushed out of the root zone. Corn spoilage occurred from excessive wetness and a a lack of sunlight.

Weekly Forecast Still Wet



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