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Flooding Swamps Upper Midwest Harvest
Friday, September 21, 2018 6:26AM CDT
By Bryce Anderson
DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist

OMAHA (DTN) -- Forecasts for heavy rain in the Upper Midwest for the final days of the official 2018 summer season have been verified -- and the result is not favorable for harvest.

From eastern South Dakota to across northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and into southern Wisconsin, rainfall of 2 to 5 inches has flooded fields, delayed harvest and leads to potential for crop loss. About 10% of total U.S. corn and soybean production is in the area hit by the storms.

The heavy rain is the product of three large-scale atmospheric features that all played a part, according to DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino.

"You have a hot, powerful high-pressure ridge over the Alabama-Tennessee border. Then, there's a moderate trough in the interior West to send short waves of energy eastward. And, finally, cool-to-cold air in Canada leads to instability and the potential for thunderstorms," Palmerino said. "But the big player in all this is that southeastern high. It blocks the movement of the other features. Also, that southeastern ridge means that there is a lot of Gulf of Mexico moisture available to move northward into the Upper Midwest for those heavy rains to develop."

Market reaction to this heavy rain, however, is likely to be muted, simply due to record production expectations.

"The market may not care yet because of the expectations for a large corn crop," said DTN Cash Grains Analyst Mary Kennedy. "However, these heavy rains will affect the condition of the corn, especially if any of it sits in water. Mold could set in, and on top of the rain, high winds could push the plants over."

Forecasts through the rest of September show a cooler but drier pattern for the Upper Midwest. The drier trend will no doubt be welcome in an area that has had its share of rain, and then some, throughout this crop year.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at Bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(AG)

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