Too much water to too little

An ag meteorologist says precipitation this growing season has gone from too much to not enough water since the beginning of July.

“Large areas of really the Central Corn Belt and then eastward and northeastward into Michigan where we’ve had in most cases certainly less than 75 percent and in some cases less than half of normal precipitation.”      

Drought-like conditions are developing from eastern Iowa through parts of Ohio and into Michigan. 

Jeff Andresen with Michigan State University says crops have been in a critical state during this time and require moisture to be productive.

“These are stages that do matter when we don’t have as much water as we would like.”       

Parts of western Illinois are even 90 percent below normal and shallow root systems from the wet spring are stressing crops. 

Andresen says a lack of moisture will probably get worse before it gets better, but it will be cooler over the next week before forecasts turn warmer again.

For farmers concerned about early frost events, Andresen points to climate research done by the Midwest Regional Climate Center which uses statistical data for farmers to map their risk.

“This is what happened during roughly the last 40 years with your degree day acumination and it also gives you an idea of the first freezing temperatures of the fall.”      

He says forecasting frosts meteorologically is very difficult and can only give a week to ten days advance notice.

Jeff Andresen’s weather outlook during MSU’s virtual breakfast

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