USDA: Rain Is Still Needed in the Western Corn Belt

July 30, 2013 03:35 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cool weather is maintaining mostly favorable conditions for reproductive to filling summer crops. "However, rain is still needed in parts of the western Corn Belt," USDA reports. Currently, beneficial showers are spreading across the middle Mississippi Valley and the upper Great Lakes region, USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says dry weather and near- to below-normal temperatures prevail. "Although there is a break in monsoon activity, Southwestern rangeland and pastures continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says hot weather is confined to parts of Texas. "Elsewhere, near- to below-normal temperatures are helping to reduce stress on summer crops," USDA reports. However, soil moisture shortages remain a problem in some areas, leaving 42% of the sorghum in Colorado rated very poor to poor on July 28, along with 32% of the cotton in Texas and 28% of the corn in Kansas, USDA details. Rain is ending on the southeastern Plains, but scattered showers continue across the northern Plains, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says showers are returning to the northwestern fringe of the region, including Arkansas. "Showers in the Mid-South are helping to improve soil moisture, following early-summer dryness," USDA continues. Meanwhile, favorably dry weather prevails in the Southeast, where many locations have received record-breaking July rainfall, USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says a disturbance currently crossing the Mid-South will drift eastward.
"Storm-total rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches from the Ozark Plateau to the central Appalachians," USDA elaborates. Meanwhile, a cold front will sweep into the East by August 1, triggering additional showers, USDA continues. "Toward week’s end, a band of showers will develop from the Pacific Northwest into the Mid-South, while monsoon showers will return to the Southwest," USDA explains. Temperatures will remain below normal in many key crop production areas, but heat will briefly appear in parts of the West and gradually build across the Deep South, according to USDA.

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