U.S. harvest seen snarled by widespread rains this week

Harvesting of the 2013 U.S. corn and soybean crops will grind to a halt in most areas this week as rainfall spreads across the entire Midwest crop region, an agricultural meteorologist said on Monday.

“We will be stalled for a few days, just about everybody will get the rains,” said John Dee, meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring.

Dee said the rains would begin on Tuesday and continue through Thursday leaving from 0.50 inch to 1.50 inches or more in a widespread area of the harvest region.

“There will be light rains Tuesday and Tuesday night with heavier rains later in the week on Wednesday and Thursday,” he said.

Drier weather is expected beginning on Friday and it will remain dry into early next week then additional rainfall is expected beginning next Wednesday, according to Dee.

“It will be drier after this week’s rain but it will take a few days to dry out so they can harvest again because the rains will be substantial,” he said.

Commodity Weather Group (CWG) meteorlogist Joel Widenor said harvest was active over the past weekend due to dry weather but agreed that harvest would be stalled this week across the Midwest corn and soybean belt and in the Delta cotton and soybean growing region.

“The heaviest rains will be in the southwest Midwest and Delta, where 1.00 to 2.00 inch amounts are likely to be widespread,” Widenor said.

Also, “the rain event at the middle of next week will lead to harvest delays centered in the Delta and southeast Midwest and more rain is possible in the 11 to 15 day time frame (Nov 8-12),” Widenor said.

U.S. farmers got a slow start to harvesting this year’s corn and soybean crops due to a record late start planting crops which delayed the maturation process of each crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Oct 21 that 39 per cent of the U.S. corn crop had been harvested, well below the five-year average of 60 per cent, and soybean harvest was 63 per cent complete versus the 70 per cent average pace.

USDA will release updated harvest progress data at 3:00 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT) on Monday.

Terry Reilly, senior market analyst for Futures International, said he expected the USDA to show corn harvest at 51 per cent complete and soybean harvest at 74 per cent complete as of Sunday, Oct. 27.

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