Forecast rainfall in the Midwest is not as promising for corn going into pollination compared with just a few days ago. Back on Friday June 24, moderate to heavy rain, possibly totaling up to two or more inches, was indicated for the end of June into early July across the driest areas of the Midwest -- in northern Missouri through southern Iowa. However, atmospheric dynamics have negated that kind of moisture. Heaviest rain the next seven days is now pegged for the western and south-central Plains into the southern Midwest with the two to four-inch rain potential. Other areas of the Midwest are now in the one-quarter to one-half inch bracket.
Any moisture is welcome at this time of year, of course. But half-inch or less total rainfall will not go far in total moisture supply. Much of the Midwest -- at least half the region -- is in a rainfall deficit over the past 30 days with no more than 50% of normal precipitation taken in. And a lot of the dry areas have had just 25% of normal precipitation or less since around Memorial Day. It's no wonder that much of central and northern Missouri, south-central and southeastern Iowa, western Illinois, northern Indiana, most of Ohio and southeastern Michigan are either "Abnormally Dry" or "Moderate Drought" in the latest Drought Monitor.
Regarding temperatures, the values this week (through July 2) will be generally below normal across the Midwest. But that changes as we go into the first part of July. Upper-level high pressure is indicated to strengthen in Texas and Oklahoma, and bring a hotter along with drier pattern to the Midwest. The bottom line is that there are several good reasons to be just a bit nervous about how the weather pattern will treat corn pollination this year. That is much different than the past two seasons.
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