Drought worsens for the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest
USDA’s National Drought Monitor for the week ending July 27 showed ongoing deterioration in western and northern areas of the Corn Belt, with little change in the eastern Belt outside of some drought improvement in northern Wisconsin and central Michigan.
Today’s summary update says, “another round of blistering heat across the northern Plains further stressed rangeland, pastures, and a variety of summer crops. The central and southern Plains also experienced some hot weather, although agricultural impacts were tempered by mostly adequate soil moisture reserves.”
Dry weather covered much of the Midwest, as has been the trend since mid-July. “Short-term dryness was not yet a concern in the previously well-watered lower Midwest. However, reproductive corn and soybeans in drier areas of the upper Midwest were subjected to increasing levels of stress, especially as temperatures began to rise,” today’s update notes. Extreme (D3) drought coverage was added to Minnesota and severe (D2) drought expanded in Iowa.