Martell Details Historical Perspective of Great Plains Drought

November 19, 2012 03:28 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of 

Historical Perspective on Great Plains Drought

Soft winter wheat is getting adequate rainfall, while the Southern Plains continues with severe drought.

High Plains Drought

Soft wheat was 70-72 percent "good" or "excellent" in the November 11 USDA crop report, against 25% in the Great Plains bread wheat states. Only 2% of soft wheat was "poor" or "very poor" compared with 28% in hard red winter wheat. Hard red wheat makes up the largest proportion of US winter wheat 54% of the total.

No important rain is expected this week in hard red winter wheat. Drought of this nature is not unprecedented, occurring in a cluster of years in the 1950s and the historic "Dust Bowl" of the early 1930s.

Corn Prone to Drought

How might corn be affected by drought in 2013? The US Drought Monitor indicates a large area of the Corn Belt in extreme drought in Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. Severe drought is present in northern Illinois, Missouri Wisconsin and North Dakota. A very significant amount of corn is in jeopardy 46-47% unless heavy winter-spring precipitation replenishes the subsoil.



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