Moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions have spread across southern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin deep into the southern plains, and eastern corn belt. Much of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and the western United States is enveloped in drought conditions with no relief in sight.
Recent rainfall across the Dakotas and western Minnesota has helped suspend the spread and intensification of dry conditions, but the pattern isn’t overly promising as summer heat and strong winds buffet the region.
With over 45% of the corn crop silking and advancing into the reproductive stage, lack of rainfall promises to be a major concern for many Midwest farmers. Long-range computer models aren’t offering much hope over the next 30 to 90 days. A big bubble of hot air will continue to expand over the western United States and send waves of unusually warm air eastward. About the only areas that will likely escape the extreme heat is North Dakota along with northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.
In addition, this pattern will likely increase the prospects of seeing below-average rainfall impact most locations across the Midwest. The central, southern, and eastern corn belt will be especially vulnerable to continued drought conditions.
With La Nina entering its third year, dry conditions usually prevail across much of the primary growing regions. There’s a better than 65% chance La Nina will linger into the winter months and potential impact weather trends across our region into December.
Across Europe, heat has been a major issue as well. Record-setting heat has sprawled across the continent in addition to wildfires, which have been responsible for consuming thousands of acres. Similar problems are impacting northern Africa where many agricultural villages have been evacuated. Livestock stress and developing crops across Europe continue, although winter wheat crops and winter grain harvest are largely unaffected.
After a massive heat wave in India, the monsoons have arrived. India typically produces crops for domestic consumption. However, world events inspired the hope of world commodity trading. The recent heat wave spoiled those plans as the monsoon season continues to advance north across the country offering welcome relief for some fields and excessive moisture damage in some locations.