We were surprised by the amount of snow that fell over the weekend along a band thast extended from eastern South Dakota eastward across southen Minnesota into Wisconsin. Snowfall totalts of 6-12 inches were reported in this region with melted amounts of .25-1.00 inch. Certainly some very welcome precipitation for this area but not a sign of a significant change in the pattern. We expect the weather pattern to continue to feature overall drier than normal condions to the west of the Mississippi River with extreme dryness in parts of the plains winter wheat belt. We are also concerned about some potential strong winds developing at times in the plains out ahead of these fast moving and moisture limited storm systems. This could raise the issue of blowouts on some of the poorly established wheat fields. It appears that this overall dry pattern west of the Mississippi River could be with us for much of the winter season. We remain very concerned about soil moisture conditions going into the 2013 growing season for much of the central US except for the eastern Midwest and the Delta states where topsoil moisture conditions have improved.
Across South America wet weather conditions remain a concern in central Argentina. After a dry weekend there appears to be two signiifcant rain events this week. One early in the week and one later in the week. This will continue to disrupt and delay corn and soybean planting with increasing concern that some corn acreage may have to be shifted to soybeans. This wet weather pattern has also impacted the quality and the harvest of the winter wheat crop with significant harvest losses expected. The weather patterns have generally improved in Brazil with more rain now falling in Rio Grande do Sul and Parana where it had been dry. Rainfall has diminished recently in the Mato Grosso. However we do expect to see some pickup in rainfall in this region during the latter half of the week.