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Another dry week nicks corn yield potential

Favorable weather is critical this month for maximizing U.S. corn and soybean potential, and while some of the Crop Watch fields have recently improved on timely rainfall, many others were too dry last week, trimming expectations for corn.

No rain fell within the last week for the Crop Watch fields in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and both Iowa locations. Indiana had 0.3 inch (7.6 mm), southeastern Illinois 0.7 inch and Ohio 0.8 inch. The biggest totals were in Kansas with 1.2 inches and western Illinois with 1.25.

Heavy dew and/or humidity was helpful in many of the drier locations, though it was not a replacement for rainfall. Most areas avoided extreme heat last week.

The smoke and haze from wildfires in the western United States had been helpful to keep daytime temperatures down in the Dakotas over the last month, but that was less prominent last week.

Dry weather in the past couple of weeks has had a notable negative impact on yields in eastern Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana, where the original projections were relatively strong. Those expectations have slid for two consecutive weeks.

Heat will continue this week in the western Corn Belt, particularly in the northern areas, but cool temperatures should set in by the weekend and extend into next week. Rain is possible for parched western areas later this week, but the east has rain chances most of this week and temperatures there should be mild.


Each week, the 11 Crop Watch producers rate corn and soybean yield potential in their subject fields on a 1-to-5 scale. A 1 for yield potential represents expectations for well below average yields, while 4 reflects above average and 5 well above average or record.

The unweighted, 11-field average corn yield fell to 3.82 from 3.91 last week on declines in South Dakota, eastern Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio. Those losses were cushioned by slight increases in North Dakota, western Iowa and southeastern Illinois.

The average soybean yield was unchanged at 3.8 as reductions in eastern Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota were offset by improvements in North Dakota, Kansas, western Iowa and southeastern Illinois.

The only fields with perfect 5 scores are in southeastern Illinois. Six of the corn fields carry scores of 4 or higher versus seven a month ago. Five of the soybean fields are rated 4 or better compared with eight a month ago.

The lowest scores are in North Dakota at 1.75 each. The producer believes his subject fields are hanging on much better in the drought than most of his other fields because they were unplanted last year due to saturated conditions. That allowed the field to better retain moisture and nutrients for this year.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Karen Braun; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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