Planting season has cranked full steam ahead for the nation’s corn farmers – a record-breaking 43% of the corn crop was planted the week of May 13 alone. The newly released planting intentions report indicates a full 86% of the corn crop is now in the ground.
The logical next question is now, "How is it going to do this year?" That’s largely determined by your own production practices, but anyone who survived the historical drought last year knows all too well that weather can make or break a crop, too. Is the summer of 2013 lining up for a repeat performance? Here are some highlights from the latest Accuweather summer outlook.
• No widespread areas of drought are predicted from the Upper Midwest to the South. The second half of the summer will see reduced rainfall in the Midwest, but not enough to reintroduce widespread drought conditions.
• Meteorologists expect a higher frequency of thunderstorm in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The increased activity will keep seasonal temperatures in these states close to normal.
• Areas of the Mid-Atlantic that were suffering abnormally dry conditions this spring are likely to trend wetter.
• Meanwhile, in the West, drought is expected to expand and worsen. And a lack of snowfall this winter, coupled with a lack of rain this summer, could lead to serious water resource issues.
• Accuweather admits the Great Plains is the toughest area to forecast this summer. Rounds of showers and thunderstorm are projected to arrive more frequently this summer in the Dakotas, eastern parts of the southern Plains and even into northeastern Texas. However, dryness could extend into these area later in the summer.
Elwynn Taylor, professor of ag meteorology at Iowa State University, warns that the summer outlook could be less-than-ideal, with a possibility of La Niña conditions moving in once more.
"We do not want to think about a summer that turns hot and dry by mid-July, but it has happened before, even on years with a cool and very wet spring," he says.