Continuing a recent trend, dry weather dominated the country, including large sections of the Plains, Midwest and Southeast, during the week of Oct. 16-22, according to the Oct. 25 USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. During the two-week period ending Oct. 23, nearly one-third (30%) of the U.S. corn and 36% of the soybeans were harvested, as dryness favored Midwestern fieldwork. Elsewhere, national harvest numbers were at or ahead of the 5-year average pace on that date for all major crops.
However, some rain lingered early in the week across the south-central U.S., where a boost in topsoil moisture briefly slowed fieldwork but benefited rangeland, pastures and winter grains. Patchy precipitation was also observed from the Great Lakes region to the Atlantic Coast, although many areas remained dry.
Late in the week, a dramatic pattern change led to a sudden increase in Northwestern shower activity, aiding wildfire containment efforts and promoted the germination and establishment of recently planted winter grains and cover crops.
Meanwhile, weekly temperatures averaged 5 to 10°F above normal throughout much of the western U.S., while readings averaged at least 10°F below normal in much of the Southeast. A daily record low of 15°F was set on Oct. 18 at Sioux City, Iowa. In Missouri, Cape Girardeau set a monthly record on Oct. 20 with a low of 22°F.
Showers provided limited drought relief to many key farming areas of Argentina, but more rain was needed to significantly improve prospects of both winter and summer crops. Weekly temperatures averaged near to below normal in the aforementioned areas, but frost was mostly confined to traditionally cooler locations in southern Buenos Aires. Highest daytime temperatures ranged from the middle and upper 20s (degrees C) in Buenos Aires to the middle and upper 30s in the far north.
Sunflowers and corn were 27 and 17% planted, respectively, as of Oct. 20. Corn was just 7% planted in Buenos Aires, compared with 36% last year, with delays attributed to the lingering impacts of drought.
Showers maintained overall favorable prospects for Brazil’s soybeans and other main-season summer crops. Rainfall totaled 10 to 50 mm — locally higher — from Rio Grande do Sul northward through Mato Grosso, extending eastward into Goiás, São Paulo and Minas Gerais.
In Mato Grosso, soybeans were 67% planted as of Oct. 21, compared with 69% last year and the 5-year average of 42%. Seasonal fieldwork was also making good progress farther south. In Paraná, first-crop corn and soybeans were 78 and 33% planted, respectively, as of Oct. 17; in addition, wheat was 54% harvested. In contrast, dryness persisted over the northeast, including key soybean and main-season corn production areas from northern Minas Gerais northward through western Bahia.
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