Crops to keep baking in dry heat for 2 weeks

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 8:48 AM
Crops to keep baking in dry heat for 2 weeks

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hot and dry weather for at least the next two weeks will put even more stress on corn and soybean crops, hurting them and cutting yields, agricultural meteorologists forecast on Tuesday.

"With this heat and dryness there certainly will be more damage done," said Don Keeney of MDA EarthSat Weather.

He forecast temperatures would rise to triple-digit degrees Fahrenheit late this week and into the weekend. Little, if any, rain was expected.

"There could be light rain of 0.10 to 0.25 inch in areas such as northern Indiana and northern Illinois, but not enough to help," Keeney said.

The dryness and heat should continue next week, although the American weather model did indicate some rain while the European model indicated continued dryness.

"We're favoring the European model," he said, adding, "If the American model comes through, there could be from 0.50 inch to 1.00 inch of rain over a broad area of the Midwest next week."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday cut its condition ratings for both corn and soybeans to their lowest late-June levels since 1988, following a week of hot and dry weather in important growing areas.

USDA said 56 percent of the corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition, down 7 percentage points from last week. Soybeans were 53 percent good-to-excellent, down from 56 percent the previous week.

Commodity Weather Group on Monday said areas most likely to suffer yield reductions would be Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

USDA said 10 percent of the corn crop was silking or pollinating as of Sunday, and 12 percent of the soybean crop was blooming.

(Reporting by Sam Nelson; Editing by John Picinich)