Martell: Lighter-Than-Expected Rains Allow Harvest to Continue

October 14, 2013 04:46 AM
 

 

 

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com: 

Midwest Harvest Advancing, First Frost of Season

Rainfall lightened up last week in the Midwest allowing the harvest to move forward. Virtually no rain occurred in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Observed Rainfall Last Week

Drought remains a major concern. Though Midwest rainfall has increased in recent weeks, the deep soil layer is still very dry. It would require 4-8 inches of rainfall to fully replenish the subsoil in Iowa, Illinois, southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and Missouri. Not all Midwest farms are plagued by drought. Nebraska soil moisture is relatively favorable and drought has been largely resolved in Indiana and Michigan. Ohio is actually wetter than normal.

Rainfall 90 Days Ending October 13

Sunday morning brought the coldest temperatures of the fall season with low-mid 30s F. Northern corn and soybeans have avoided a hard freeze up till now allowing late planted corn and soybeans to mature safely.

Two Areas of Heavy Rain

Heavy rainfall is occurring this morning in the Upper Midwest with a powerful short-wave disturbance. The forecast is very wet in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Separately, a band of heavy rain is spreading across Texas and Oklahoma into Missouri from a tropical storm near Baja, Mexico. The Monday morning satellite image reveals both areas of rainfall.

Hard red winter wheat farms also are expecting welcome rainfall this week. The High Plains, a semi-arid wheat region is expecting modest rain, .10 to .35 inch. More significant rain is predicted in Kansas, the top US wheat state, from .25 to .50 inch. Rainfall would benefit winter wheat plantings, as fall conditions have been predominantly warm and windy, sapping topsoil moisture.

Colder Forecast

Freezing temperatures are predicted this week in the northern Midwest, though the central - southern grain belt would escape a hard freeze. A cold trough of low pressure in Canada would dig into the northern United States. This would bring cold damp weather and sporadic showers to the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest the next few several days.

Rainfall Outlook Next 5 Days

A hard freeze is likely in the northern Midwest by the weekend. Balmy weather would give way to much colder conditions in southern Midwest highs in the upper 50s - low 60s F and minimum temperatures in the 40s F. Corn and soybeans are virtually ripe and would not be damaged by a hard freeze. Midwest crops have benefited from prolonged warmth and frost-free conditions, permitting crops to advance toward maturity.


 

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