By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com
The ongoing drought and Corn Belt disaster is likely to further drive down U.S. yields for 2012.
Despite the most acres of corn planted since the 1930s and high expectations this spring by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for this year's crop, the 2012 yield is likely to be even lower than current official government forecasts.
In June, the USDA was projecting a record 166 bu./acre yields for corn. That projected yield has been pushed down to 146 bu./acre as of mid-July.
AccuWeather.com agricultural meteorologists expect this figure is likely to go lower and are projecting the yield to be around 138 bu./acre.
The lower yield compared to the USDA projection is based on AccuWeather's forecast of ongoing heat and drought conditions in areas from southern Illinois westward to Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, southern Wisconsin and southwestern Minnesota.
Rain? Not Enough
While some rain has fallen on part of the Corn Belt recently, not enough rain fell on a broad area since July 13 to make much of a difference in long-term yields.
Central Minnesota was one of a few areas holding its own in terms of weather and expected output in the Corn Belt.