Monday, March 4

Crop Watch: Crops nearly made in Iowa but West still needs rain -Braun

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NAPERVILLE — Rainfall amounts were light last week for most US Crop Watch locations, and while some of those fields could use another shot of moisture within the next two weeks, others should be fine without.

Good timing on rains this season means that Crop Watch corn and soybean fields in Iowa and Minnesota have the moisture they need to finish. The Illinois corn fields are probably good to go, but another rain within the next 10 to 14 days would add extra confidence for soybean yields.

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It is a different story in the Plains states, where dry weather has hurt crop prospects. Rain would help the South Dakota and Nebraska fields for up to two more weeks and the shorter-season North Dakota soybeans have only about one week, but the forecast is dry throughout.

A 1.5-inch rain in Kansas last week likely helped the soybeans, which the producer says look better than they should given this year’s hot and dry weather. Those rains were not widespread and will not help the corn. He has harvested nearly 20% of his corn acres with very poor results thus far, but he hopes to find better corn as efforts progress.

Light rain may have perked up the crops in North Dakota last week, but not enough to lift yield hopes yet. Although the forecast is dry, the producer says the temperatures look “lovely” for corn filling, not too hot or cold. North Dakota is hoping to avoid early frost after late planting.

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Later planting in Ohio this year means those crops have about three weeks left for rain impacts. Those fields picked up more than an inch last week, and more precipitation could arrive early this week.

Minnesota received the largest rain totals last week among Crop Watch with 2.6 inches, but less than an inch fell in eastern Iowa and Nebraska, and less than a half-inch was observed in the Dakotas, western Iowa, Indiana and both Illinois locations.

The 0.8 inch in Nebraska was the largest weekly total since at least June, which combined with cooler temperatures boosted both yield scores by a quarter-point. Slightly above average crops are expected there, but near or just below average is predicted in South Dakota, where ratings slide a quarter-point each.

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Crop Watch producers have been rating yield potential weekly on a 1-to-5 scale, with 3 representing average yield expectations and 5 record or near-record yields. The 11-field, unweighted corn average rose to 3.82 from 3.8 last week, and for soybeans it slid to 3.61 from 3.64.

Other adjustments this week include a small increase for the Indiana corn following favorably cool temperatures, though disease creeping in to the Minnesota soybeans led to a small reduction there. Rain would matter for the Indiana soybeans for another week and the corn another two weeks.

The following are the states and counties of the 2022 Crop Watch corn and soybean fields: Griggs, North Dakota; Kingsbury, South Dakota; Freeborn, Minnesota; Burt, Nebraska; Rice, Kansas; Audubon, Iowa; Cedar, Iowa; Warren, Illinois ; Crawford, Illinois; Tippecanoe, Indiana; Fairfield, Ohio.

Photos of the Crop Watch fields can be tracked on my Twitter feed using handle @kannbwx. Karen Braun is a market analyst for Reuters. Views expressed above are her own.

(Writing by Karen Braun Editing by Matthew Lewis)



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