Hot Temperatures Taking a Toll on Midwest Corn, Conditions Trending Drier
Midwest growing conditions in corn have deteriorated from persistently hot temperatures and high evaporation. Rainfall has developed a wide swath of the Midwest extending from southern Minnesota and Wisconsin through northern Illinois into Indiana and Ohio.
Hot temperatures in June have been detrimental for Midwest corn growth and development. While scattered strong showers have maintained rather good conditions in much of the Midwest, persistent heat has been detrimental.
Hot temperatures have encouraged strong evaporation from the soil surface reducing benefits to corn. There is an increase in "transpiration" the loss of water through the small pores on the underside of plant leaves, the stomata.
Vegetative Stress Emerging
Positive conditions in corn were somewhat surprising, as below-average conditions in corn were revealed in the June 23rd vegetative health index map viewed by remote satellite. The orange and red areas indicated sub-par vegetation, concentrated mostly in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Green and blue indicate a favorable crop in the making, the near- to above-average vegetation most prominent in central Iowa and central Illinois, the two leading corn states.
Compared to a year ago, Midwest crop vegetation is significantly worse. This may be due to hotter temperatures and higher evaporation. Ames, Iowa, has reported above-average temperatures in 28 out of the past 30 days and near normal on the remaining 2 days.
"Abnormally dry" conditions have emerged in several pockets the Midwest revealed in the US Drought Monitor June 21st.
La Nina Influence
The drier weather this season may be linked to an emerging La Nina. This is the alter-ego to the El Nino, a reliable rain maker in the US heartland. Midwest rainfall in the upcoming week is expected to be sparse. Temperatures would turn sharply cooler, ending a month-long period of warmth.
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