Nation & World

Showers soak much of Corn Belt

Some areas have seen up to half-foot of rain

Corn grows south of Central City on Thursday, August 11, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Corn grows south of Central City on Thursday, August 11, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

Rains soaked portions of the Corn Belt this week, swamping fields in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota, and more storms are expected early next week ahead of a warm-up, meteorologists said Friday.

The wet and warm outlook is generally favorable for corn and soybean crops overall, forecasters said, despite areas of flooding.

The National Weather Service posted flood warnings Friday in northwest Iowa, northern Illinois and neighboring southeast South Dakota, where some areas received five to six inches of rain over the past seven days.

“There has been some heavy stuff, but it’s pretty localized,” said Joel Widenor, a meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group.

To complicate matters, farm residents near Little Rock River, south of Doon, were evacuated in the early morning hours of Friday after a train carrying oil was derailed and some of the oil emptied into the floodwaters.

Temperatures should warm next week, with highs reaching the low 90s Fahrenheit by the end of the week in Chicago. The heat is not expected to threaten crops, in part because of ample soil moisture across so many key growing areas, meteorologists said.

In fact, some analysts are considering whether soil moisture is excessive in some areas.

“The market right now is trying to figure out if too much water is a good thing, or not a good thing,” said Ted Seifried, analyst with the Zaner Group. “Beans don’t really like having wet feet, and that’s exactly what they’ve got now with all this rain.”

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