Seasonal changes can bring a lot of volatility to crop weather. We had a very good example of that Monday, October 12, when an intense cyclone -- deep low pressure -- focused over western Ontario, Canada. The central pressure value dropped to 984 millibars -- about 29.06 inches. That's a deep low -- and its formation generated powerful winds from both south (during a hot Sunday) and north (Monday) over the eastern Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Wind speeds of around 70 mph were noted.
The result has been flattened corn in many fields over the northern Midwest. If fields had any sort of stalk rot damage, of course, they are more prone to incurring this damage. At the very least, harvest progress will be slowed down noticeably.
This wind damage episode is only the latest in some destructive crop weather events over the past two months. In no particular order, we have seen: the immense damage caused by the catastrophic rains from Hurricane Joaquin in the Carolinas; more than one million acres of row crops -- corn and soybeans added together -- lost due to heavy rain last spring-early summer; yields in Missouri reduced because of a late-season flash-drought episode; a total of 80 -- eighty -- hailstorms in Nebraska during September that destroyed several thousand acres worth of crops; dryness in late season over the Delta and southeastern Texas which have likely compromised production. These are instances of very damaging happenings that come to mind -- I am sure I neglected some.
The fall season has its very positive highlights, with harvest and the season's end. But, as we saw once again, getting to the finish is hardly ever a cakewalk.
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