USDA chief meteorologist Brad Rippey says the latest Drought Monitor indicates the percentage of corn and soybeans in drought remains relatively stable, but the crop in the most two serious drought categories (D3 to D4, or extreme to exceptional drought) continues to rise sharply.
"Due to the record-setting pace of corn development (the U.S. crop was 26% dented and 6% mature by August 5), any late-summer rainfall will do little to improve prospects for drought-damaged corn," says Rippey. "Soybeans will be more receptive to August rainfall and have some potential to recover if favorably cooler, wetter weather arrives. In addition, revival of drought-stricken pastures will require substantial rain and lower temperatures."
In his weather outlook, Rippey says since August 7, highly beneficial showers have fallen in the Midwest, although most locations have received less than an inch of rain. "Cool air is trailing the rain into the Corn Belt, and below-normal Midwestern temperatures can be expected to continue into early next week," he says. "Currently, dry weather has returned to the western Corn Belt, but showers will linger through Friday in the eastern Corn Belt. The next opportunity for Midwestern showers will occur early next week, when a warm front crosses the region. Following the warm front’s passage, unfavorably hot weather will return to the Corn Belt by the middle of next week."