CHICAGO Dry weather will speed early harvesting of corn and soybean crops for the next week to 10 days in the southern section of the U.S. Midwest, agricultural meteorologists said Monday.
Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather, said cooler and mostly dry weather was expected this week in the Midwest crop belt.
The exception would be light rain late in the week in the northwestern Midwest and showers in the southwest Plains on Monday and Tuesday.
"Rather benign weather this week, and next week looks similar," Keeney forecast said.
A turn to wetter weather now would do little to revive drought-stricken corn or soy, Keeney said, and instead slow the early harvest pace.
Each crop was maturing earlier than normal due to excessive stress from heat and drought over the summer, and from the historic early seeding pace of last spring.
Keeney said light showers were likely Thursday and Friday in the northwestern Midwest, but dry weather was expected throughout the week in the southern and eastern Midwest.
Temperatures have moderated from the extreme heat wave over the summer, with highs now seen in the 70s to 80s degrees Fahrenheit, Keeney said.
Commodity Weather Group (CWG) said the forecast trended drier for the next 10 days, particularly in the southern Midwest as well as the Delta.
Weekend rains spread across much of the southern Delta and Southeast, slowing early corn harvest, according to CWG.
(Reporting By Sam Nelson)