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Warm, Dry Weather to Threaten Some U.S. Crops, Earthsat Says

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Warmer, drier weather expected during the next five months will aid early U.S. crop planting this year and threaten some yields in already parched fields from Texas to North Dakota, according to Earthsat Weather.

The decaying La Nina weather pattern that damaged crops in South America with dry weather during the past three months will lead to a fast U.S. planting season, increasing the yield potential for crops east of a line from eastern Texas to western Minnesota, Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at Earthsat, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based MDA Information Systems Inc. unit, said today at the company’s conference in Chicago.

A weather pattern that is warmer and drier than normal from June to August may trim corn and soybeans yields in the western Midwest, with normal weather seen in the heart of the Midwest, he said. There is a 25 percent risk that the period will be cooler than the official forecast, Tapley said.

Adverse weather in parts of the Midwest will have a limited impact on production because the fast start to U.S. sowing will boost areas planted and accelerate crop development for the hottest summer weather, Tapley said.

U.S. corn yields may rise to 161 bushels an acre, increasing production 15 percent to 13.923 billion bushels, compared with 12.358 billion a year earlier with a yield of 147.2 bushels an acre, Tapley said. Soybean output may rise 9.7 percent to 3.245 billion bushels from 3.056 billion in 2011, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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