Ag Weather Forum

Dryness Noted in Western Corn Belt Ratings

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The stark contrast between very dry conditions in the western and southern Corn Belt and a very wet pattern in the Eastern Corn Belt remains in place during late July. (Midwest Climate Center graphic by Nick Scalise)

Another week of limited rainfall, along with episodes of much-above-normal temperatures, have taken their toll on pollinating corn in Nebraska and Iowa. Good to excellent totals in these states are down four percentage points in Nebraska, and three percentage points in Iowa this week compared with a week ago.

The 101 degree Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) temperature observed in Des Moines on July 14 was the highest temperature observed in Iowa since Sept. 9, 2013. The soybean crop is also being affected in Nebraska with good to excellent ratings down 4 points. It was little changed in Iowa.

The stressful weather pattern in Nebraska and central and southern Iowa is going to ease this week, with the potential for a moderate to heavy rain event in Iowa on Wednesday, and light to moderate amounts in Nebraska. This will ease stress to crops and may even allow some improvement in crop ratings next week.

Meanwhile, crop ratings for corn are stable in the eastern Midwest. However, soybean ratings have declined in the eastern Midwest due primarily to conditions being too wet in some areas. Eastern Indiana and Ohio are especially noted with this feature. Soil moisture is adequate to surplus over much of the northern and eastern Midwest, with forecast moderate to heavy rains during midweek being unwelcome in some eastern areas.

In the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies, rainfall is expected to remain limited along with episodes of above- to much-above-normal temperatures. This weather pattern has already had a major impact on spring wheat in the Northern Plains, and is currently having a major impact on spring wheat in the Prairies. Pollinating corn and early-filling soybeans are also being affected in the Dakotas.

Mike Palmerino can be reached at



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