Heat & Dryness Taking a Toll on Crops Across the Corn Belt

July 3, 2012 03:18 AM

Iowa: Although Iowa saw precipitation early and again late in the week, the bulk of the week was sunny and hot with record high temperatures experienced in many areas. Additional rain is needed to relieve stress on crops and improve conditions. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels declined to 28% very short, 45% short, 27% adequate, and 0% surplus. South Central Iowa is the driest with 91% of the topsoil moisture rated short to very short. Subsoil moisture dropped to 24% very short, 49% short, 27% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Crop conditions declined for all crops this week. Sixteen percent of the corn crop is silking, nearly two weeks ahead of normal. Corn condition is reported at 2% very poor, 8% poor, 28% fair, 49% good, and 13% excellent.

Twenty-six percent of the soybean crop is blooming, ahead of last year’s 10% and the five-year average of 15%. Soybean condition is rated 3% very poor, 9% poor, 29% fair, 49% good, and 10% excellent. Sixty-eight percent of the oat crop has turned color, well ahead of last year’s 15% and the five-year average of 24%. Twenty percent of the oat crop has been harvested, two weeks ahead of normal.

Illinois: Last week was yet another hot and dry one for Illinois. Statewide temperature averaged 78.2 degrees, 3.9 above normal and rainfall increased slightly to 0.28 inches, but still was 0.62 inches below the historic average. Topsoil moisture is still a major concern for the entire state. It is currently rated at 52% very short, 37% short and only 11% adequate.

Corn conditions were rated at 12% very poor, 21% poor, 41% fair, 23% good, and 3% excellent. Corn silked has reached 46%, compared to 6% last year and 15% as the five year average. The soybean crop has withstood the conditions slightly better than the corn crop with 11% very poor, 20% poor, 41% fair, 26% good, and 2% excellent. Twenty-five percent of the soybean crop is now blooming, 16 points ahead of the five-year average at 9%.

Nebraska: For the week ending July 1, 2012, triple-digit temperatures along with limited precipitation depleted soil moisture levels and caused crop conditions to decline, according to USDA’s NASS, Nebraska Field Office. Soil moisture levels are at 21% adequate or surplus compared to the 85% five-year average. Temperatures ranged from 3 degrees above normal in the Northeast District to 9 degrees above normal in the Panhandle and Southwest Districts. Highs reached triple digits across the state, and lows were recorded in the mid 50s. Isolated pockets received measureable rainfall; however, most of the state saw little to no precipitation. The Panhandle has averaged a little over 1 inch of rainfall per month since April 1.

One quarter of the corn crop is in pollination stage while one quarter of the soybean crop is blooming, both 11 days ahead of average. Corn conditions rated 4% very poor, 11% poor, 29% fair, 48% good, and 8% excellent, well below last year’s 83% good to excellent and 80% average. Irrigated corn conditions rated 70% good to excellent and dryland corn rated 35%. Much of the dryland corn acreage in the western two-thirds of the state rated poor or very poor. Soybean conditions rated 3% percent very poor, 13% poor, 39% fair, 42% good, and 3% excellent, well below last year’s 81% good to excellent and 79% average.

Missouri: High temperatures with no precipitation across most of the state took its toll on crops this week as all crops declined in condition. Corn condition rated poor to very poor increased 22 points to 48% while soybeans rated poor to very poor increased 14 points to 49%. There were 6.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture declined to its lowest point this year at 71% very short, 26% short, and 3% adequate. The 5 year average topsoil moisture condition is 4% very short, 16% short, 59% adequate, and 21% surplus. Subsoil moisture also declined to 58% very short, 35% short, and 7% adequate.

Corn silked was 56%, 12 days ahead of last year and normal (five-year average). Corn in the dough stage was 7%, 2 weeks ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of normal. Corn condition was 19% very poor, 29% poor, 34% fair, 17% good, and 1% excellent. Soybeans emergence was 96%, 9 days ahead of last year, and 13 days ahead of normal. Soybean blooming and beyond was 11%, 9 days ahead of last year and 7 days ahead of normal. Soybeans were setting pods in the northwest, central and southeast districts. Soybean condition was 18% very poor, 31% poor, 33% fair, 17% good, and 1% excellent.

Ohio: The average temperature for the state was 74.1 degrees, 2.9 degrees above normal for the week ending July 1, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.39 inches, 0.77 inches below normal. There were 137 modified growing degree days, 9 days below normal. Reporters rated 7.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending June 29, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 53% very short, 36% short, 10% adequate, and 1% surplus.

As of Sunday July 1, 7% of corn was silked, which was 5% ahead of both last week and the five-year average. The soybean crop was 21% blooming, compared to 1% last year and 11% for the five-year average.

Indiana: Several areas of the state experienced record setting heat during the week with temperatures reaching as high as 107 degrees in some southern counties, according to the Indiana Field Office of USDA's NASS. Scattered thunderstorms moved across the state over the weekend producing damaging wind and hail in some areas. This past June was the third driest in Indiana, according to records dating back to 1930, falling only behind 1988 and 1933. Only 1.29 inches of rain fell across the state during June which was just 31 percent of normal precipitation for the month. The extreme heat and drought conditions caused additional stress to crops and livestock.

There were 6.6 days suitable for field work during the week. Thirty percent of the corn acreage has silked compared with 0% last year and 7% for the 5-year average. Corn condition fell again and is now rated 19% good to excellent compared with 58% last year at this time. This is the worst condition rating for corn at this time of year since 1988 when none of the crop was rated good to excellent.

Twenty-eight percent of the soybean acreage is blooming compared with 2% last year and 7% for the 5-year average. Soybean condition also fell further and is now rated 20% good to excellent compared with 57% last year at this time.

Minnesota: Hot, dry weather prevailed over most of Minnesota this past week, according to the USDA, NASS, Minnesota Field Office. Statewide temperatures averaged 4 degrees above normal, and limited rain fell in localized areas. The greatest weekly precipitation total was 0.74 inches recorded in Pipestone. As of July 1, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 78% adequate to surplus, down from 94% a week earlier. Statewide, there were 6.3 days rated suitable for fieldwork, up from 3.6 days the previous week.

Five percent of corn was silking, compared to 0% last year, and 1% for the five-year average. Eighty-two percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition, compared to 83% last week. Twenty-six percent of soybeans were blooming, compared to 1% last year, and 6% average. Soybeans were rated 86% in fair to good condition.

South Dakota: With 6.7 days suitable for field work last week crop progress was still ahead of average but crop conditions continued to decline with little or no moisture received. Warm and dry conditions dominated the week once again over nearly the whole state, according to the State Climate Office of South Dakota. Very little precipitation occurred statewide along with much above average temperatures. The combination of high temperatures, lower relative humidities and higher crop water use are producing potentially stressful crop situations across the state.

Topsoil moisture was rated at 28% in adequate to surplus, 47% short and 25% very short. Subsoil moisture was rated at 35% adequate to surplus, 42% short and 23% very short.

Corn had an average height of 43 inches, ahead of the five-year average of 26 inches. Eighty percent of corn had been cultivated or sprayed twice. Soybeans were at 29% blooming, ahead of the five year average of 8%.


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