The drought-parched Midwest farm belt could get up to 5 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Isaac but it would be a mixed blessing to farmers, as the moisture will be too late for corn and soybeans but just in time for wheat planting next month.
Farmers are harvesting their corn, which has been devastated by the worst drought in half a century, as a result rain would be of no help at this time of the season, reports Reuters. Rain could be of marginal help to soybeans that were planted late in the season, but not to the bulk of the crop that is fast approaching harvest due to early planting this year.
For farmers gearing up to plant the winter wheat crop, rain could boost soil moisture and get the crop in the world's top wheat exporter off to a good start.
Midday weather updates on Monday indicate Tropical Storm Isaac could bring beneficial rain, five inches or more in some areas, to a broad swath of the drought-hit central and southern Midwest crop region.
"I'm comfortable with 1-1/2 inches to 4-1/2 inches of rain at this point from Missouri to Ohio with localized heavier amounts from Friday through Sunday," said Drew Lerner, meteorologist for World Weather Inc.
Lerner said some weather models indicated up to 8 inches of rain but "I think that's too aggressive."
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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