Martell: Cold & Wet Midwest Forecast

May 29, 2012 06:58 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of

Cool and Wet Midwest Forecast

For the first time in many weeks, the forecast is looking favorable for Midwest corn, turning cooler and wetter than average. A cool air mass descending from Canada is expected to set off strong showers in the Midwest and Plains. Rainfall is expected to begin Wednesday in the Plains, spreading across the Midwest and Mid South Thursday-Friday. Winter wheat, corn and soybean areas are expecting 1-1.25 inches of rainfall this week with widespread coverage. Below-normal temperatures would develop in the wake of the storm. May growing conditions have been exceptionally hot in the Corn Belt, keeping evaporation elevated and reducing the effectiveness of showers. Field conditions are unfavorably dry in the majority of the grain belt. The exception is a swath of wetness in in Minnesota, South Dakota, western Iowa and Northeast Nebraska, where very heavy rains occurred the past 10 days. Hot and dry weather is expected to resume June-10 in the U.S. heartland, based on the Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day outlook.

Us Rainfall Past 2 Wks

Russia Drought Worries Not Over

Temperatures in European Russia have moderated over the past week providing some relief for winter grains, but rainfall has been disappointing. Showers have petered out moving eastward from Ukraine into the Russia Black Earth and Volga districts, causing just scattered areas of .50 to .75 inch. Winter wheat areas in Krasnodar and Stavropol, east of the Black Sea, have received very generous rainfall from 1-inches. SovEcon last week indicated it was not too late for rainfall to help small grains. The Russia grain production estimate has been lowered by Sov Econ, the analysis group anticipating 87-91 million metric tons (MMT) in the 2012 harvest, compared to 94 MMT last season. The satellite vegetation image valid up to May 20 shows significant vegetative stress in European Russia, where winter grains are heavily produced, but improvement further to the east in the spring grain belt.

MayMODIS Russia

China Corn Growing Areas Hot and Dry

Persistent heat and not enough rain is causing dry field conditions in China’s Heilongjiang province, the producing area for corn. Also very dry this spring is Shandong, the No. 2 corn province, on the North China Plain. Corn planting got off to an early start this season in China, but due to the persistent heat and just scattered rains, conditions have become unfavorably dry. It is much the same as the United States Midwest too much heat and not enough rain to compensate. A strange weather anomaly has developed this month the northern two-thirds of China suffering from hot and dry conditions, while the southern rice provinces grew excessively wet.

Subsoil Moisture China

Brazil Top Corn State Receiving Beneficial Rain

Parana, Brazil’s largest corn state, is getting beneficial rain in late May, 1.5 to 2 inches in the recent 10 days. Soil moisture has still not been completely replenished in the wake of a severe summer drought, but winter corn nonetheless received a welcome boost from recent heavy rain. CONAB anticipates a record Brazil corn harvest this season, 67 million metric tons, allowing for 12 million metric tons of exports. This is a significant increase from just 5 years ago, when 4.5 MMT of corn exports was typical. Parana grows around one-fourth of the national harvest. Thus, a very successful winter corn crop would be absolutely essential, in order to offset a drought-damaged summer corn harvest. More rain is needed to carry the crop through pollination and grain filling.

Parana Heavy Rain

Frost Damage in Canadian Prairies?

Three nights of sub-freezing temperatures in Canada’s western prairie provinces suggests there may have been damage to small grains. Planting got off to a very early start this spring, due to abnormally warm weather causing an early thaw in prairie farm fields. The Manitoba crop letter May 28 claimed that canola development ranged from emerging to the 2-3 leaf stage. Farmers were reporting stress symptoms from the cold weather, but they expected the crop to recover. The majority of winter cereals were growing well last week, most approaching the flag leaf stage of development, the crop report said.

Canada Frost Freeze Conditions




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