USDA: Heat & Dryness Continue to Stress Midwest Crops

September 9, 2013 03:40 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are providing beneficial moisture for immature summer crops across the far upper Midwest, including North Dakota and parts of Minnesota. "Across much of the remainder of the Midwest, however, persistent dryness and increasingly hot conditions are maintaining significant stress on pastures and immature corn and soybeans," USDA explains.

In the West, USDA reports showery weather from Arizona to southeastern Wyoming contrasts with hot, dry weather in the Pacific Coast States and the northern Rockies.

On the Plains, USDA says precipitation is confined to the northern tier of the region, including parts of Montana and North Dakota. "The northern Plains’ rain is slowing late-season spring wheat harvesting efforts," USDA adds. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather on the central and southern Plains favors fieldwork but is maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops in areas with inadequate soil moisture reserves, according to USDA.

"In the South, warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote summer crop maturation and harvesting," USDA reports. Conditions have improved in the Southeast, following a wet summer, but drought is gradually expanding and intensifying from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Mississippi Valley, USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says a robust, late-season monsoon circulation will continue to funnel tropical moisture into the Southwest. "As a result, five-day rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches in the Four Corners states could trigger flash flooding," USDA elaborates. Some of the rain will spill across the central Rockies onto the central High Plains, where as much as 1 to 3 inches could occur, according to USDA. "Most of the remainder of the U.S. will receive little or no rain, except for 1- to 3-inch totals in southern sections of Florida and Texas, as well as the nation’s northern tier from the upper Great Lakes region into New England," USDA details. Meanwhile, USDA says late-season heat will continue to dominate much of the nation, except for rain-cooled conditions in the Southwest. "Toward week’s end, however, markedly cooler air will arrive in the Great Lakes and Northeastern states, USDA explains.


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