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Posted by feww on July 20, 2012

Drought 2012 could linger for months

Corn and soybean prices break all-time records. Corn prices have climbed 53 percent in one month, as worst drought and poorest crop conditions in decades decimate yields in the Corn Belt region and beyond.


U.S. Drought Map for July 17, 2012, released July 19.

List of Disaster Areas Continues Growing

On Wednesday, USDA designated an additional 39 counties in 8 states as Primary Natural Disaster areas due to worsening drought, making up a disaster total of 1,297 counties in 29 states.  Additionally,  several hundred other counties have been declared as contiguous disaster areas.

One Way Drought

Drought is intensifying in the Corn Belt region and creeping to the areas beyond including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, southern Minnesota and parts of Missouri, Kentucky and the Dakotas.

Drought and Deluge Double Whammy

The historic drought could finally end in an epic deluge, in which case what is already extreme stress on the topsoil would be incalculable.


NASS Crop Production Data. Map of drought superimposed on the corn production areas, July 10, 2012.

Drought Stats

  • Nearly two-thirds of Continental U.S. is currently in drought condition
  • More than 42 percent of the lower 48 states were in SEVERE, EXTREME or EXCEPTIONAL Drought Conditions (D2-D4) as of July 17, 2012, a rise of over 5 percent since last week.
  • As of July 17, 2012,  the entire Continental U.S. with the exception of Maine was experiencing Abnormally Dry or Drought Conditions (D0 -D4)  in full or in parts of the states, a situation which has since worsened due to scant precipitation and a persistent heat wave in the past few days.
  • More than 81 percent of the Contiguous United States was Abnormally Dry or in Drought  Conditions (D0 – D4).
  • Drought 2012 is considered as the worst drought since 1956 and worst agricultural drought since 1988.
  • About 40% of the U.S. corn crop is in poor-very poor condition.
  • Good-excellent soybean crop dropped to 34% – down from 56% at start of season.
  • Some 1,297 counties in 29 states have been declared as primary natural disaster areas, with several hundred other counties designated as contiguous disaster areas.
  • Less than 10 percent topsoil moisture is left in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
  • Topsoil moisture in the entire Central Region is below 50 percent of normal.
    • Drought is expected to persist or intensify across Central Region.
    • About 98 percent of corn is grown within Central Region.
  • About 80 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is experiencing drought.

Deadly Heat Persists

Meantime, preliminary records from NCDC showed 145 high temperature records broken Wednesday and 67 records tied in 23 states: Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.


High temperatures in the triple digits will be the norm for the next several days for parts of the central U.S., with heat indices reaching into the 110 degree range. Some NWS Forecast Offices have already extended their heat advisories to last through the middle of next week. Source: NWS


Daily Max Heat Index Forecast

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