June 10, 2013 / 12:25 PM / 6 years ago

U.S. crop growth seen excellent while plantings stay slow

CHICAGO, June 10 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will struggle planting the final stages of this season’s corn and soy crops this week due to occasional rains, but crops that have been sown should grow rapidly, an agricultural meteorologist said on Monday.

“It’s not ideal for planting but not a disaster either. There will be a couple of light rain events that will roll through so it’s still a struggle for some,” John Dee, a meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring, said.

Dee said showers on Wednesday and Thursday and again over the weekend would bring an additional 0.3 to 0.8 inch of rain to the U.S. Midwest crop belt and temperatures will begin to turn warmer.

“For crops that are in the ground it’s nearly ideal with plentiful soil moisture and warmer temperatures,” Dee said. Temperatures next week will warm into the 80s (degrees Fahrenheit) to low 90s F boosting crop growth and development, he said.

Excessive rain has slowed the planting pace for U.S. corn and soybeans to historically slow levels, threatening to trim acreage and posing a threat to yields since the late seedings will push crop maturity to later in the season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop progress report released a week ago.

The USDA said that as of June 2, corn was 91 percent planted and soybeans 57 percent planted. Planting progress was the slowest for both crops at this point in the year since 1996.

USDA will release updated planting data in its weekly crop progress report to be released at 3:00 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT) Monday. (Reporting by Sam Nelson; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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