The eastern and central parts of the U.S. Corn Belt are drying out after more than a month of below-normal rainfall and the latest forecasts for this week show limited help on the way.

Meanwhile, the western Corn Belt is expected to turn quite wet again over the next few days, further delaying late planting in areas the received heavy rains in late April and early May.

Over the past 30 days, rainfall across large sections of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio has ranged from only 25-75% of normal. The biggest shortfalls have generally been in eastern Illinois, west-central Indiana and southern Ohio.

In addition, large parts of Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota have been dry during that time frame, as have the Midsouth and Delta/Southeast states.

Scattered showers are seen developing west of the Mississippi River Tuesday into Wednesday and are expected to bring rainfall amounts ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 in. The heaviest rains will be in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Thursday should be clearer but another round of showers develop on Friday.

"This type of a weather pattern will likely force some switch-over from corn to soybean on at least some acreage out there," Mike Palmerino, forecaster with DTN Meteorlogix weather service told Reuters News Service.

In contrast, the eastern Midwest will be dry this week accept for some light showers of 0.1-0.5 in. on Thursday and possible weekend thunderstorms, Palmerino said.

Both the European and U.S. weather forecasting models were in good agreement on Monday morning, he said. “They are suggesting that the ridging that's promoting the severe drought in the Southeast is going to have more of an influence of the weather in the Delta and the eastern Corn Belt in terms of producing below-normal rainfall.”

Meteorlogix 6- to 10-day outlook for Saturday through Wednesday called for near to above-normal rainfall in the west and near to below-normal in the east.

Not everyone agrees that the entire eastern half of the Corn Belt will stay dry next week. The latest National Weather Service 6- to 10-day and 8- to 14-day outlooks issued on Monday afternoon both called for above-normal rainfall over most of the Midwest, including Illinois and the western two-thirds of Indiana.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.