Martell: September Drought Continues Across Corn Belt

September 9, 2013 06:04 AM



The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of 

September Drought Continues, Corn and Soybean Declining

Midwest drought has worsened in September reducing yields in corn and soybeans. Hardly any rain materialized in the Midwest last week perpetuating late- summer drought. Widely scattered mostly light rainfall was less than predicted in Midwest corn and soybeans.

Inches of Rainfall

The September drought has expanded into the eastern Midwest, damaging crops in Indiana and Ohio, states that previously boasted good conditions. The 30-day rainfall analysis up to September 8 indicates one-quarter of the grain belt with 20% of normal rainfall or less.

30 Day Drought

A small area of the western grain belt received near normal rainfall in the month, stabilizing crops in northeast Nebraska, western Iowa and southeastern South Dakota.

Yield Damage in Soybeans and Corn

A dry finish to the growing season is especially damaging for soybeans filling pods. This is the main period for determining yields. Smaller seeds and few seeds per pod would be the outcome. Pod setting was 92% underway September 1. Once pods are set it takes 30-40 days for seed filling to be completed.

Just 40% of corn was "denting" September 1, the stage when kernels begin drying down. Thus, 60% of corn was "filling grain". Smaller, light weight kernels are anticipated due to late-summer drought reducing the corn yield.

Corn and soybeans are expected to decline once again in the September 8th report from USDA. Last week's report indicated 56% of US corn and 54% in US soybeans in the "good-excellent" category, a seasonal low for Midwest crops.

Not Hopeful for Heavy Rain

Last week, the "heat dome" receded west, relieving Midwest heat to a degree. High pressure is now expanding east again, set to dominate the Midwest for the next 3-4 days. Highs in the 90s F are predicted today through Wednesday.

HPC 5 Day Rainfall Forecast

Sharp cooling would develop by Friday, dropping maximum temperatures back into the mid 60s-mid 70sF. This would be a rapid thrust of cold, dry air southward out of Canada, not triggering much in the way of rainfall.

Ridge-rider showers are predicted today through Wednesday tracking along the northern rim of high pressure. Much of the central United States would be protected by a stable ridge of high pressure. Light showers, up to .25 inch, are predicted here and there in the Midwest.

The 5-day outlook indicates potentially heavy rainfall for central Nebraska due to the Southwest monsoon. The HPC forecast anticipates very modest rainfall for the majority of the Midwest, however.


Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer