Speaking during a Chicago Board of Trade press briefing on USDA’s July 11 supply/demand reports, Cook said that Texas and the Southeast could be in for an interesting week with Claudette.

He said that after Claudette “gets past the Yucatan Peninsula and gets back over open waters, she will re-strengthen and become a hurricane, which is expected to occur early Sunday morning. It would then make landfall around Brownsville, Texas, early Tuesday morning.

“Once that happens, the moisture will probably start working its way back toward the northeast and provide some more rain for the Delta and lower Mississippi Valley.”

The National Weather Service was reporting several possible outcomes for the storm. As of 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, today, the tropical storm “remains disorganized,” it said in an advisory.

Global Weather Service’s Cook also commented on how crop weather is shaping up elsewhere around the United States and the rest of the world:

The coastal areas of Texas inland “are pretty wet right now. There is some dryness creeping into eastern Arkansas and some of the western Delta areas.”

So far, weather has been very favorable for corn and soybean development in the Midwest, especially in Iowa and Illinois, noted Cook. “Areas we want to keep an eye on include parts of Ohio and Indiana, where they’ve had excessive rain the last couple of weeks. That has probably had some impact on crop development there.”

Cook believes warm, dry weather will occasionally creep into eastern Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Missouri this growing season, “but they’re not going to be extended periods. I don’t think we’ll ever see more than a half dozen days go by without significant rain.

“Our forecast for the rest of the summer is for above normal rainfall for the Midwest and pretty good growing conditions through August. I think we’re going to continue to see wet conditions in the Southeast along the Gulf Coast and in southeastern Texas.

“If we do get a developing La Niña, we may see some dryness during the winter months.”

Weather has been very favorable for U.S. wheat yields, according to Cook, “particularly in the Central Great Plains, where yields took a huge jump from last month. Kansas (according to USDA) went from 44 bushels to 49 bushels an acre.”

On the other hand, dryness is beginning to creep into parts of Canada. “It’s not a major concern right now, but we’re keeping an eye on it.

“Internationally, the only spots that may require some investigation over the next four or five weeks is the Yangtze River Valley of China, where rains have been heavy, and in northeastern China, where corn and soybean areas have had a tendency toward dryness all spring. Rains of recent weeks have improved conditions, but dryness could return.”

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com