USDA: Scattered Central Corn Belt Showers Making Little Dent in Drought

July 11, 2012 04:04 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies near-normal temperatures. "A few showers are crossing the central Corn Belt, with little effect on the drought," USDA explains. On July 8, at least half of the corn, soybeans, and pastures were rated very poor to poor in Indiana (61%, 51% and 81%, respectively) and Missouri (60%, 54% and 87%), according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says significant monsoon activity is confined to Arizona and New Mexico, mainly near the Mexican border. "Cool weather lingers in the southern Rockies and along the Pacific Coast, but a heat wave persists across the remainder of the region," USDA adds. In the Northwest, heat favors winter wheat maturation, USDA reports.

On the Plains, USDA says beneficial showers are subsiding in southern areas. "Elsewhere, unfavorable dryness prevails on the central Plains, while heat covers the northern Plains," USDA reports. On July 8, at least half of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor in Colorado (76%), Kansas (71%), Nebraska (59%), and Montana (52%), according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says a broken line of locally heavy showers stretches from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Mid-Atlantic states. "The rain is aiding pastures and summer crops, especially in the drought-affected Mid-South," USDA adds. Prior to the rain's arrival, on July 8, at least three-quarters of the pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition in Missouri (87%), Arkansas (85%), Kentucky (76%), and Tennessee (75%), USDA elaborates.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of the week, hot weather will persist on the northern High Plains. "Above-normal temperatures will also cover much of the West, especially northern areas," USDA explains. Elsewhere, USDA says monsoon showers will dot the Southwest and Intermountain West, while the late-week passage of a cold front will spark a few showers across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. "However, most of the nation’s significant precipitation will fall in the Southeast, where additional rainfall of at least 2 to 4 inches will provide substantial drought relief," USDA reports. Toward week’s end, much-needed rain may spread as far north as the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states, according to USDA.


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