Warm, dry weather seen for U.S. Midwest crops this week

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 31, 2015 1:35 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Forecasts called for warm and mostly dry conditions in the U.S. Midwest this week, potentially stressing developing soybean crops in some areas, an agricultural meteorologist said on Monday.

Highs should climb to the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (30-34 Celsius) late this week, with lows falling only into the low to mid 70s, said Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist with MDA Weather Services.

Precipitation will be limited to light showers in northwestern portions of the Midwest on Friday, he said. More rain is expected next week across the northern Plains and the northwestern Midwest.

Storms this past weekend crossed southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, northern Illinois and Iowa, dumping more than 6 inches (15 cm) in a few parts of central Iowa. Dry weather this week should benefit those areas.

But the rains missed most of the eastern Midwest, adding to concerns about crop stress.

"Central and eastern Illinois and far western Indiana are the areas that have been missing out," Tapley said, adding that little relief was in sight for the next 10 days.

The region's soybeans are vulnerable to dryness, especially "double-crop" beans seeded in June after the harvest of winter wheat on the same fields. Corn faces less risk because the crop is closer to maturity.

"Double-crop soy areas near the Ohio River and into the northern Delta may now have to wait until mid-month to see shower potential expand," the Commodity Weather Group said in a daily note to clients.

Temperatures should cool to below-normal levels in mid-September, Tapley said, but there was no sign of an early frost.

(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by James Dalgleish)