Drought spreads to major agricultural states in the United States
June 17 (Reuters) – Severe drought has worsened this week across much of America’s agricultural belt, threatening recently planted corn, soybeans and spring wheat crops in Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas meteorologists and climatologists said Thursday.
Rains forecast for the northern Midwest and Great Plains this weekend and next week will bring relief to some areas. But severe water deficits suggest that crop yields in key US producing areas remain at risk.
Drought has already burned down much of the western United States, causing farmers in California to leave fields fallow and triggering water and energy rationing in several states. Read more
Crop development in the central United States is under close scrutiny this year as grain and oilseed prices hover around nearly a decade’s highs and global supplies tighten.
“It certainly causes some stress there, especially for spring wheat,” said Don Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist at Maxar Technologies.
About 41% of Iowa, the country’s largest corn producer and second-largest soybean state, was in the grip of a severe drought on Tuesday, up from less than 10% a week earlier, according to the published U.S. Drought Watch Weekly. Thursday.
Cooler weather this weekend and some rains until next week will bring some relief to crops in the western Corn Belt, although areas in the far north may receive less rain.
“Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, and even northern Iowa would still be a bit harmed, especially the Dakotas,” Keeney said.
Conditions in North Dakota, the main producer of high-protein spring wheat used in bread and pizza dough, remained dire, with about two-thirds of the state experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, the most serious categories. Read more
October through April has been the driest period in North Dakota history since record keeping began 127 years ago, Governor Doug Burgum said at a town hall meeting in Washburn, Illinois on Wednesday. North Dakota.
“We know we have a full-fledged crisis in the state,” Burgum said at the meeting.
More than 100,000 acres, or 156 square miles, of North Dakota have already burned in wildfires this year, up from about 12,000 for the entire fire season last year, Burgum said.
The farmer and North Dakota Grain Growers Association director Cale Neshem called the heat and drought a “double whammy” that will squeeze his wheat crop.
“There won’t be much there,” he said.
Drought in the western Corn Belt has already likely reduced the average US corn yield by 2 to 4 bushels per acre, said Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co in Chicago.
However, conditions in July and August, critical months for corn and soybeans, respectively, will determine the extent of the yield losses and the price response, he said.
Grains and soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell sharply on Thursday as rain in short-term forecasts triggered a risk-free sell off.
“If we don’t have rain, it will be something to do on the upside (for prices) as yields fall on the table,” Basse said.
Reporting by Karl Plume, Tom Polansek and Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; edited by Jonathan Oatis
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