Rains slow final U.S. harvest, cold snap arriving

Showers early this week slowed the final corn harvest, especially in Ohio, and a widespread cold snap is on tap after mid-week, an agricultural meteorologist said on Wednesday.

"Harvest is mostly complete. Still some corn to harvest in Ohio and they were slowed by rains early this week," said Andy Karst, meteorologist for World Weather Inc.

Karst said drier weather the balance of this week should allow rapid completion of the corn harvest while the U.S. soybean harvest neared completion by late last week.

"There is another round of rain early next week, Sunday through Tuesday in the east but they should be about through with harvest by then," he said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) late on Monday said 96 per cent of the U.S. soybean harvest was complete and 93 percent of the corn had been harvested.

Corn harvest in Ohio was 51 per cent complete, behind the 79 per cent five-year average, according to the USDA.

Karst said a widespread freeze was expected in the Midwest and Northern Plains starting Thursday, extending into Kansas, but there was no concern about harm to crops or livestock.

The cold snap would help push the U.S. winter wheat crop into dormancy, he said.

The U.S. Plains will be dry this week followed by rainfall early next week.

Karst said rainfall up to two inches was expected in Oklahoma on Monday and Tuesday, with lighter amounts in other areas of the Plains, including the Texas Panhandle.

Much of the Plains hard red winter wheat crop has received beneficial moisture over the past two to three weeks, leading to outlooks for a better harvest next year.

A drought this summer had turned soils into powder and burned grazing land, pushing young cattle into feedlots earlier than normal.

USDA on Monday said 96 per cent of the winter wheat crop had been seeded and 83 per cent had emerged, in line with average seeding and emergence rates.

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