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Persistent dryness and cool temps threaten yields

The weather is starting to swing too dry after the very wet start to the planting season.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports pockets throughout the “I” states of Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, as well as Missouri and Michigan, have abnormally dry conditions.

“It is untimely dryness that has dried and crusted topsoils and that has added to some of the problems for these late-developing corn and soybeans.”

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says there are areas that have received less than a quarter of their normal precipitation for July and shares an extreme in Illinois. “Springfield, Illinois, the central part of the state, barely had half of an inch of rain for the entire month of July and that is less than 15 percent of normal.”         

On the other hand, Michigan Climatologist Jeff Andresen says at the beginning of the month, torrential rains in Northern Michigan were record-breaking. “We did have at least one report of more than 12 inches of rain in a 12-hour period.  If the observation stands, it would be a new all-time record not just for in a 12-hour but a 24-hour rainfall for the state of Michigan and the existing record on the books goes all the way back to 1914.” 

The National Weather Service is forecasting wetter conditions to start August, but cooler, which could damper pollination and grain fill and has many experts bearish on yields.

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