Friday, July 27, 2012

Scant rain to give scorched Southwest US crops little relief

Sam Nelson in Reuters: Crops in the northern and eastern U.S. Midwest will benefit from showers and cooler temperatures over the next week but heat and drought will continue to punish crops in the southwest, an agricultural meteorologist said on Friday. "Crops will continue to deteriorate. The corn crop is already gone and in the north and east, beans will improve some but not in the southwest," said Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.

"There will be additional rain in the eastern Midwest today and showers in the northwest tomorrow and Sunday," he said. But a dire picture for crops was given for the first half of August by Keeney and other agricultural meteorologists.

Keeney said that over the next week, northern and eastern crop areas would receive from 0.50 inch to 1.00 inch of rainfall and temperatures will turn moderate with highs in the low 90s (degrees Fahrenheit).

Mere sprinkles of maybe 0.10 inch are likely in the southwest, including most of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, and a return of temperatures to the upper 90s F and low 100s F, he said.

Corn and soybean conditions have been on a rapid skid since farmers planted each crop earlier than usual and at a breakneck pace. Farmers planted the most area to corn in 75 years this year, only to see it wilt in the most expansive drought in over a half century, and now soybeans are deteriorating at a rapid pace....

Parched ground in the middle of the US -- this picture from the 2011 drought, from Al Jazeera English via Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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