Breaking News
More () »

Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

Why better days are ahead for the Corn Belt

Why better days are ahead for the Corn Belt

 A combine loads soybeans into a grain truck in rural Blair, Neb., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Some good news for farmers who have battled flooding and rain so much of this season: Things are about to get better.

The fresh snow cover of 2-6 inches over much of the central and eastern portions of the Corn Belt from earlier in the week will take two to three days to melt, causing some delays in the harvest. An exception will be the Lower Peninsula of Michigan where it will take until the weekend for most of the 6- to 10-inch snowfall to melt, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

Corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest are now fully mature and are safe from being impacted by the record early-season cold snap.

AccuWeather meteorologists are forecasting dry weather for much of the rest of this week across the Midwest, which will favor the corn and soybean harvest.

And the latter half of November is expected to bring near- to above-normal temperatures to the Midwest, with precipitation near to slightly above normal, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

The latest Crop Progress report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday showed corn harvested is still well off pace compared to the 2014-18 average for 18 key corn-producing states. The silver lining is that it's the first time in eight weeks that the numbers have improved; corn harvested is at 66% compared to the five-year average of 85%. Last week, it was at 52% compared to the five-year average of 75%.

North Dakota (15%), Wisconsin (30%), Michigan (33%) and South Dakota (39%) continue to struggle, but they're the only ones of the 18 states that are below 63% of corn harvested.

Soybeans harvested have almost caught up to the five-year average, with the latest USDA figures putting the 2019 total at 85% compared to the 2014-18 average of 92%. North Carolina (54%) is the only state where fewer than 70% of soybeans have been harvested.

AccuWeather analysts continue to estimate the national corn yield will be 13.432 billion bushels. The latest figures released in the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) saw the U.S. corn yield estimate continue to lower closer to AccuWeather's estimate, this time falling to 13.661 billion bushels. That's down from the October estimate of 13.779 billion bushels, and is a 9.1% falloff from the initial estimate of 15.03 billion bushels made in May.

The WASDE report lowered the yield per acre harvested from 168.4 bushels per acre in October to 167 bushels per acre in November. That figure would be the lowest corn yield per acre since 2013 (158.1).

AccuWeather estimates the soybean yield will be 3.572 billion bushels. The WASDE's estimated soybean yield remained the same at 3.550 billion bushels. That's a 14.4% drop from the estimate of 4.150 billion bushels made five months ago. The soybean yield hasn't been that low for a season since 2013, when it was 3.357 billion bushels.

Download the free AccuWeather app to get the exact temperatures forecast for your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.