Forecasts show U.S. drought getting worse

CHICAGO Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:33pm EDT

A drought affected corn crop is seen near Paris, Missouri July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

A drought affected corn crop is seen near Paris, Missouri July 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - The latest weather forecasts call for the drought afflicting the U.S. Midwest to worsen, taking a bigger toll on the country's corn and soybean crops, meteorologists said on Monday.

The midday forecast showed that for next week, the eastern Midwest would get "less than 0.25 inch of rain" -- down from the morning forecast which called for up 0.75 inch rain, said Drew Lerner, meteorologist for World Weather Inc.

Lerner said the atmospheric high pressure ridge was locked over the western Plains and western Midwest and was poised to remain stable, blocking moisture from entering the crop belt and leading to a buildup of heat.

"It's the same old song and dance," Lerner said.

Temperatures will rise into the upper 90s (degrees Fahrenheit) to low 100s F early this week, cool to the 80s F by midweek then rise into the 90s F again by the weekend, said John Dee, meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring.

"There are no sustainable soaking rains in sight. There is some slight relief but no huge reversal in the drought," Dee added.

Commodity Weather Group (CWG) on Monday said more than one-half of the Midwest would still be too dry and warm for at least the next two weeks and the most persistent heat was expected for the western Midwest.

"This will leave over one-half of the late-pollinating and filling corn and pod-setting soybeans subject to additional stress," CWG meteorologist Joel Widenor said.

CWG's Monday report said the drought was more focused on southern Wisconsin, western Illinois, southern and western Iowa, far northern and far western Missouri, southwest Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

Until now, the devastating drought has been decimating corn and soybean crops in the southern Midwest and eastern Midwest in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and southern Illinois.

A report from climate experts on Thursday said the Midwest was in the grips of the worst drought in a quarter of a century.

Nearly two-thirds of the nine-state Midwest region was in some stage of drought in the reporting week that ended July 10, up from just over 50 percent a week earlier, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly report on drought throughout the country compiled by U.S. climate experts.

One-third of the region was in severe to exceptional drought, up from about a quarter of the region a week earlier, it said.

Corn, soybean and wheat futures prices were sharply higher again on Monday as the drought spread further.

A weekly government report on the condition of U.S. field crops is expected to show further deterioration in corn and soybeans as drought expands to areas of the U.S. Midwest that had so far escaped the dry conditions.

Grain analysts polled by Reuters said they expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to shave 5 percentage points off the portion of the corn and soy crops rated in good to excellent condition.

The crop progress report is slated for release 3 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT) on Monday.

The relentless drought that is expanding through the heart of U.S. corn and soybean country continues to slash crop production prospects, with little to no relief in sight.

"Up until now the western and northwest Corn Belt had been faring better, but there was deterioration there last week and I expect more this week," said Shawn McCambridge, an analyst for Jefferies Bache.

"The drought keeps spreading, they just can't get a break," McCambridge said.

(Reporting By Sam Nelson; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Comments (3)
diluded0000 wrote:
I saw one of the local dry land farmers turning his corn under last month. Then the guys that irrigate had to bid against fracking companies for regional water shares, and are in a fairly bad shape.

Jul 16, 2012 11:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Tye15 wrote:
Drill baby, drill.

Jul 16, 2012 1:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
umojaresearch wrote:
This is not surprising, in Iowa, Two Sisters Garlic Farm just refunded all their customers for advanced Seed Garlic orders due to drought. They suggested in spring it looked ilke a bumper crop, but due to lack rain after the spring rains their crops started drying up. They are refunding orders because they have a excellent reputation and did not want to sell less than quality product to their customers. They are also worried they may not have enough quality seed garlic to reseed for next season.

So the problem is really bad.

In addition, the information from The National Academy of Science, regarding Solar Flares, does not offer much hope and suggest the worse is yet to come.

You can also look up on any search engine, if you are interested; The Catastrophic Potential Of Sever Space Weather.

The is also an interesting video on solar-storm-warning.com

Jul 16, 2012 6:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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