With harvest getting into gear -- U.S. corn harvest now 10% complete, and soybean harvest 7% complete as of Sunday, September 20 -- a review of soil moisture supplies going into the final ten days of the month pretty well defines the end-game availability for crops.
The rundown shows ample supplies in the center of the Corn Belt. Most of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin have soil moisture supplies in the 90 to 95th percentile of the long-term average for 1916-2004. Southeastern Minnesota, northern Indiana and southern Michigan are also in this category. Missouri is a bit drier, but is still in the 70th percentile relative to the long-term average.
For drier conditions, the Delta and the Dakotas, along with western Minnesota and the western edge of the Corn Belt -- in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado -- along with the Atlantic seaboard from the Carolinas through the Delmarva Peninsula -- have very low soil moisture readings. In some of these locales, however, irrigation is a key component of the cropping system.
Then there is the western through northwestern U.S. -- with zero to 10% of the long-term average soil moisture. The historic drought has sapped supplies completely in many areas.
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