'Flash drought' threatens Corn Belt

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

click image to zoomDrought MonitorThe Drought Monitor map released on Aug. 29, 2013. Summer’s fury was unleashed on the heartland this week as temperatures soared and dry weather persisted. According to the latest Drought Monitor, 50 percent of the contiguous United States is now in moderate or worse drought, the highest level reported since early April.

The worst of the drought remains in the western half of the country, but in the Midwest extreme heat and extended dryness combine to be the perfect storm for “flash drought.”

“Above-normal temperatures and rapidly deteriorating soil moisture conditions have resulted in what appears to be a late-season flash drought,” said Anthony Artusa, this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor author, in a narrative accompanying the map.

In Minnesota, where record-breaking temperatures soared as high as 96 degrees with heat indexes of 105 to 110 degrees, moderate drought conditions increased by 45 percentage points. Currently, 55 percent of the state is in moderate drought, compared to 10 percent reported last week. The USDA’s “Ag in Drought” report shows that 90 percent of Minnesota’s corn is currently being grown in areas experiencing drought.

To the south, Iowa’s conditions are on par with Minnesota's. The unusual late-summer heat wave pushed temperatures past the 100-degree mark in some places, and with little to no rain over the last week, 60 percent of the state is now in moderate or severe drought.   

"It's about the worst-case scenario we could have with these high temperatures and the lack of water with soil moisture declining," Roger Elmore, agronomy professor at Iowa State University, told the Associated Press.

While corn and soybeans have developed enough to face the weather conditions without reducing the number of kernels on the cob or seeds in the pods, Elmore warns that these kernels and seeds could develop smaller and weigh less, which could reduce the harvest this fall. Read more here.

Further the west, conditions remain largely unchanged, with more than half of western states in severe or worse drought. More than 90 percent of California is in severe or worse drought, stressing animals, crops and pastures alike.

Click here to read the full Drought Monitor report.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (1) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Trail,MN  |  August, 30, 2013 at 01:35 PM

This is the third year of moderate to extreme drought for my farm in northwestern MN-The last two years it has been as dry as it possibly can get, yet the drought moniter has not shown this!

1325 Bushel Grain Cart

Equipped with a 22” computer balanced auger with 5/16” flighting,the unloading speed is 50% faster than smaller grain carts with ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form