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Corn Belt Drought Intensifies

Posted by feww on September 6, 2013

Late growing season drought intensifies in Iowa, neighboring states: Report

Severe drought in Iowa increased to 32.07 percent up from 22.4 percent a week earlier, with 63.24 percent of the state covered in moderate drought or worse.

us drought map 3sept2013

“After such an ideal start to the growing season, the past two months have been much drier than usual, with temperatures slowly increasing,” said David Miskus of U.S. Drought Monitor.

  • Precipitation in central Iowa and northern Missouri was only 5 to 25 percent of normal, and as little as a tenth of an inch of rain.
  • Iowa recorded its warmest week since July 2012, with highs of 104 degrees Fahrenheit at Des Moines and Fort Madison on Aug. 30.
  • Iowa experienced its seventh driest August in 141 years of records, following the ninth driest July.
  • Crop and pasture conditions began to deteriorate rapidly once heat was added to the dryness.

Small areas of severe drought also showed up in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin this week.

  • Drought also expanded or intensified in Mississippi, Oklahoma and on the Hawaiian island of Maui, during the week.

The portion of the drought-stricken areas in the U.S. corn belt increased from 45 to 52 percent during the week ending September 3, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s meteorologist Brad Rippey, the report said.

  • Soybeans in drought also increased in the last week, from 38 to 42 percent.
  • Corn and soybeans in drought bottomed out in July at 17 and 8 percent, respectively.
  • Cattle in drought increased one percent to 53 percent.

“Given that U.S. producers planted an estimated 97.4 million acres of corn and 77.2 million acres of soybeans in 2013, current drought figures suggest that more than 50 million acres (nearly 80,000 square miles) of corn and some 32 million acres (more than 50,000 square miles) of soybeans are presently being affected by drought,” Rippey said.

“According to USDA, nearly one-sixth of the U.S. corn (16 percent) and soybeans (15 percent) were rated in very poor to poor condition on September 1. A year ago, near the height of the Drought of 2012, very poor to poor ratings stood at 52 percent of the corn and 37 percent of the soybeans.”

As Midwest continued to dry out, parts of the Southwest and West saw scattered improvements from the monsoon season.

Overall, the portion of the contiguous United States in moderate to exceptional drought crept up to 50.09 percent from 50.04 percent a week earlier.

  • The total land area in moderate drought increased to 17.69 percent, up from 16.67 previously.
  • The area in exceptional drought shrank to 1.25 percent, down 0.07 percent from last week.

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