Ag Weather Forum

Drought Tightens Late-Season Hold

By Bryce Anderson , DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

The late-summer drought has definitely put a headlock on crops as we go into the final portion of the 2013 season. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey noted in a radio report last week that the amount of U.S. corn area in drought ranges from 25 to 45 percent versus 17 percent at the end of July. And the soybean area in drought is now as high as 38 percent compared with just eight percent at the end of July.

These are excruciating numbers--and they show what happened when the big, powerful blocking high pressure in the upper atmosphere over the Arctic region moderated during early August. When that northern high's influence waned, we saw the ballooning of hot and dry conditions out of the southwestern U.S. into the Midwest. In fact, last week truly featured a "Dome of Doom" over the Midwest.

As harsh as it is to consider it, the situation does not look very promising for a change to more rainfall before it's too late for row crops. Up to this point in early September, the Gulf of Mexico has been a non-factor in the circulation patterns, and the National Hurricane Center forecasters have been saying the same thing for several weeks--"We could see the tropics fire up any time"--to no avail. With the Gulf quiet already, and no tropical system to force the moisture inflow issue, a dry trend is the primary feature for the driest areas of the Midwest through the first half of the month.

Bryce

Twitter--@BAndersonDTN

(CZ/ES)

Comments

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GWL 61 9/4/2013 | 7:31 PM CDT
It's not good here either some corn ears hanging like its ready to pick, those ears will probably fall off before the rest of the crop is mature in same field. Its an uneven mess.
Unknown 9/4/2013 | 6:42 PM CDT
the early freeze we were worried about has happened in the form of hot and dry
Ronald Yeast 9/4/2013 | 5:09 PM CDT
Logan Co. IL Rains last week all went north. Corn is firing and beans turning rapidly. Both prematurely. We needed a good Aug. rain to finish this crop up.
McFly 9/4/2013 | 2:29 PM CDT
the so called "trade" must all have their roots in the Show Me state. Here in Indiana we are in a declining yield environment as well, even though the eastern belt is suppose to be so wonderful.
Paul Beiser 9/3/2013 | 8:10 PM CDT
Soybeans have run out of time in mn. They aborting pods and lower leaves already. 46 degree low temp last night. I hav corn that needs 850 more heat units to black layer. That may not happen either. Its gonna be a race to finish this crop...
Greg Schipull 9/3/2013 | 1:58 PM CDT
Looked at some beans with upper thirty pod counts yesterday. Mostly just two and some three bean pods that are flat with little fill. That was on the good plants. Forecasts for warmer temps towards the end of the week with slight chances for rain on Sunday. So far those slight chances have amounted to a few sprinkles. WIthout any significant rains the beans around here will not make USDA projections.