USDA: Heat Rebuilds Across Southern and Western Corn Belt

July 30, 2012 03:27 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says pastures, corn and soybeans continue to suffer from the effects of a devastating drought, despite a recent turn toward cooler weather. "However, heat is starting to build back across southern and western portions of the Corn Belt. Across the northern Corn Belt, mainly from the Dakotas to Michigan and Ohio, some fields have received enough rain in recent days to stabilize crop conditions," says USDA.

In the West, USDA says showers associated with the monsoon circulation stretch from Arizona to the central Rockies. "Meanwhile, cool conditions persist along the Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors crop development and fieldwork, including Northwestern small grain harvesting," it says.

On the Plains, USDA says blazing heat continues to wither pastures and immature summer crops across the southern half of the region. "On Sunday, high temperatures soared to 111°F in Wichita, Kansas, and 110°F in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Elsewhere, isolated showers dot the central Plains, while hot, dry weather is promoting winter and spring wheat harvesting on the northern Plains," it adds.

In the South, USDA says hot weather is promoting a rapid pace of crop development. However, in areas where soil moisture shortages exist and heat has been persistent and excessive -- including the Mid-South (e.g. Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel) -- pastures and rain-fed summer crops continue to suffer.

In its outlook, USDA says the northern Corn Belt will continue to experience a reprieve from hot weather, but excessively hot conditions will prevail for the remainder of the week across the central and southern Plains, the Mid-South, and parts of the southern Corn Belt. "In some of the hottest areas across the south-central U.S., high temperatures will continue to approach 110°F. Late in the week, cooler air will arrive across the northern Plains," it says.



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