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Cool, Wet Weather Halts Midwest Corn Planting

The U.S. Midwest will be cool and wet for at least the next 10 days, preventing farmers from planting corn through most of April, a forecaster said on Tuesday.

Up to an inch of rain fell in northern Iowa, eastern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota since early Monday while the eastern Corn Belt received 0.25 to 0.75 inch of rain.

"The Midwest is not going to do well under this type of weather," said forecaster Joel Burgio with Telvent DTN weather service.

Farmers will be sidelined, waiting for soils to dry and warm up before they can resume planting corn and spring wheat.

All the rain is also raising Midwest river levels, forcing the closure of several locks on the upper Mississippi River, the main artery to transport Midwest grain to export terminals at the U.S. Gulf.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said late Monday that 7 percent of the corn crop was seeded as Sunday, versus the 8 percent average for mid-April.

Additional rains will fall belt wide on Tuesday, up to an inch or more with the heaviest amounts falling in the eastern Corn Belt. Severe storms were forecast for the Ohio River Valley, with tornadoes possible by Tuesday night.

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