Martell: Return to Summer-Like Heat Across Corn Belt

April 30, 2012 05:56 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of

Summer-like Heat Will Boost Midwest Corn Planting

Strong warming this week will raise soil temperatures in the Upper Midwest where night frosts occurred last week. Wednesday temperatures will be in the 80s F and 15-20 F above normal. Summer-like warmth will dominate the Midwest this week rapidly warming up soil temperatures and improving planting conditions. Only 10% of corn was sown by April 22 in Minnesota, Iowa South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan, due to prevailing cold conditions.

Monday Friday Temp Forecast

Welcome rain is coming to the Eastern Midwest. April has been very dry east of the Mississippi River in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. While corn planting has advanced rapidly, there are worries over drought, as the April 26 US Drought Monitor shows scattered areas of "abnormal dryness." Mid-South drought has also worsened in southeast Missouri, Arkansas, west Tennessee and western Kentucky, key areas for soybeans, rice and cotton.

Valuable heavy rain has in hard red winter wheat which will improve yields. Strong thunderstorms broke out Sunday in Kansas and northern Oklahoma, the top 2 bread-wheat states. Wheat is heading out and filling grain, so generous rain is very beneficial.

Northern spring wheat planting is way ahead of schedule and opposite of last year. On the negative side, dryness is worsening in North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. No rain is predicted this week in the Northern Plains while temperatures continue well-above-normal.

Pacific Northwest weather continues rainy and cool and ideal for developing winter wheat. A bumper soft wheat harvest is anticipated in the Northwest United States, where 16% of U.S. winter wheat is produced.

Top Brazil Corn State Receives Drought Breaking Rain

Heavy rainfall has developed in Parana, Brazil’s leading corn producing state, ending a prolonged drought and giving winter corn a needed boost. Rainfall over the past 10 days averaged 2.5-3 inches. Generous rainfall also affected other important winter corn states Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Goias. All were very dry in the 3-4 months leading up to recent drenching rains. In Parana, the drought extends back to December when it had a very detrimental effect on summer corn. USDA is predicting a record Brazil corn harvest in 2011-12 and a 25% increase in corn exports. This may prove too optimistic because of a prolonged dryness previously in Parana and East Brazil at large.

Too Cold and Dry for Wheat Planting in Buenos Aires Argentina

Freezing temperatures have developed in the past week in Buenos Aires and La Pampa, Argentina’s southern crop provinces. The first fall frost usually does not develop until May 10-15. Cold dry weather continues in the forecast this week, not favorable for winter wheat planting. Drought is starting to develop in Buenos Aires, the top wheat province where rainfall has been below average for at least 30 days. Further east near Necochea and Mar del Plata conditions are somewhat wetter but even there additional rain is needed for wheat planting.

Freezing Temps So Argentina

Australia Record Wetness Promotes Exceptionally High Crop Yields

The wettest year on record occurred in 2011 in Australia farmlands based on official data from the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. As the climate in the farm belt is "semi-arid" , much above normal rains bring exceptional crop yields. Wheat production made a record 29.50 million metric tons (MMT) and rapeseed a record 2.94 MMT in the 2011-12 growing season just ended. The La Nina is responsible for back-to-back bumper grain harvests in Eastern Australia. Silos are bursting with grain. Record exports of wheat and rapeseed are anticipated in the 2012-13 marketing year. Presently, the planting conditions for winter wheat and rapeseed are mixed, favorably moist in the southeastern Australia farm belt, Victoria and southern New South Wales, but very dry in Western Australia. Typically, the rainy season in Western Australia does not begin in earnest until May and June. Thus, there is no reason to worry about drought presently.

Australia March April Rainfall




Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer