July Crop Production: June Rainfall Short by 50%

July 11, 2012 02:31 AM

Rapidly expanding drought and a record-setting, late-month heat wave severely stressed pastures and summer crops, especially from the central Plains into the Midwest and Mid-South.

Monthly rainfall totaled less than 50% of normal in a broad area centered on the lower Ohio and middle Mississippi Valleys. By month's end, approximately 60 percent of the Nation's corn and soybean acreage was within an area experiencing drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor. Drought-free areas of the Midwest were restricted to the northern and western Corn Belt.

The central Plains experienced the Nation's most persistent June heat, but the northern and southern Plains were also dominated by hot, dry conditions.

Monthly temperatures averaged at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal throughout the central High Plains. However, heat and dryness across the Nation's midsection favored a rapid winter wheat harvest pace. Most areas west of the Rockies also received little or no rain, except for unseasonably heavy showers in the Northwest. Several dozen wildfires raged in the Rockies and Intermountain West, although the late-month arrival of monsoon showers aided containment efforts in the Southwest.

Elsewhere, heavy rain was mostly restricted to New England and the lower Southeast. In the latter region, Tropical Storm Debby - which made landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast on June 26 - contributed to the overall wet pattern.


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