Drought expands, has impact

by Ray Grabanski Special to the Farm Forum 06/13/17 — The drought that started in the northwest Corn Belt and HRS wheat country expanded last week, and the dry and warm conditions in the Corn Belt rapidly depleted soil moisture levels and started to hurt crop condition ratings, too.
The 8-14 day forecast today, 6/13 has moved some rainfall out of the central and southern Midwest in this morning’s weather forecast (it seems to shift a bit back and forth every day), with the western Corn Belt forecast to remain relatively dry as well.
Corn conditions also declined 1% to 67% G/E, vs. 75% last year.
But the crop conditions are only 66% rated G/E, down from 74% last year.
In other crops, cotton is 92% planted, 2% ahead of average while crop ratings rose 5% to 66% G/E, well ahead of last year’s 53% ratings.
Barley conditions actually rose 3% to 72% rated G/E, down from 78% last year but this seems at odds with the 10% decline in HRS wheat ratings.
Probably one of the most bullish signs for this summer is the fact that a rapid decline in soil moisture conditions occurred nationally last week, with topsoil moisture rated adequate/surplus down a huge 11% from last week to only 69% rated adequate/surplus, well below 78% a year ago.
Subsoil also declined significantly, down 7% to 78% rated adequate/surplus, now below last year’s 82% ratings.
Will the weather turn from the current warm/dry pattern to one with more normal precip and temperatures as forecast today?
Or will the current pattern which is depleting soil moisture and rapidly declining some crop ratings continue?

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