* Cooler, damper weather slows crop deterioration
* Corn crop harmed beyond repair, minor relief to soy
* U.S. Plains to get welcome rains this week
By Sam Nelson
CHICAGO, Aug 14 Cooler and damper weather in the
U.S. crop belt over the next week will slow further
deterioration of corn and soybeans from the summer stress of the
worst drought in more than a half century, an agricultural
meteorologist said on Tuesday.
"Corn is too far gone to help at all but some of the
northern soybeans may be helped, but the beans in the central
and south are too stressed to come back," said Don Keeney, a
meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.
Keeney said up to 60 percent of the U.S. Midwest should
receive from 0.25 inch to 1.00 inch of rain this week and the
U.S. Plains states should receive a welcome 0.30 inch to 1.00
inch as well.
Cooler weather is in the cards for the next 10 days with
highs in the 70s (degrees Fahrenheit) and 80s F rather than the
relentless 90s F and 100s F that had been slashing crop
prospects, Keeney said.
"It's going to be fall-like weather for the next 10 days.
There is a warm-up again in the 11- to 15-day forecast but not
the heat we've seen all summer," Keeney said.
Commodity Weather Group (CWG) on Tuesday said half of the
Midwest would receive scattered showers but dry spots would
likely expand from 30 percent of the Midwest currently to at
least 40 percent over the next week.
"This will include parts of central Illinois, western Iowa,
Nebraska, Missouri and southern Wisconsin," said CWG
meteorologist Joel Widenor.
"Expanding rains in the Plains and Delta will help to
improve pre-planting moisture for winter wheat areas and will
also ease stress on double-crop Delta soybeans," he said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress
report released on Monday showed the U.S. corn conditions
stabilizing after nine weeks of ratings declines and the soybean
crop conditions increased slightly.
However, the ratings for each crop remained at their lowest
levels since the last serious drought in 1988.
As the worst drought in more than a half century took its
toll, investors went on a buying spree, boosting corn prices
more than 50 percent from late May to record highs above $8 per
The market was higher again on Tuesday after a brief setback
from record highs.
USDA on Friday released data showing deep cuts for this
year's corn and soybean output as the drought spread through
USDA said this year's corn crop would fall below 11.0
billion bushels for the first time in six years and the number
of bushels yielded per acre was a 17-year low. Soybean
production was forecast at a five-year low and soy yield per
acre nearly a 10-year low.
Analysts and crop experts said additional cuts may be seen
in future reports.
(Reporting By Sam Nelson; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)