On the Plains, hot weather prevails, despite isolated showers and thunderstorms. Heat and limited soil moisture reserves are maintaining stress on pastures and summer crops. On August 5, rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition ranged from 44% in North Dakota to 89% in both Kansas and Nebraska.
Across the Corn Belt, heat is temporarily building back across southern portions of the region in advance of a cold front. In addition, unfavorably dry weather has returned, following last week’s beneficial showers. During the week ending August 5, half (50%) of the U.S. corn was rated very poor to poor, along with 39% of the U.S. soybeans. This is the highest percentage of corn in those two categories since August 21, 1988, when the value peaked at 53%. Soybeans rated very poor to poor climbed to a record, surpassing the July 1988 peak of 37%.
In the South, scattered showers continue to benefit pastures and immature summer crops. However, parts of the Mid-South remain extremely dry. For example, nearly all of the pastures are rated in very poor to poor condition in Missouri (99%) and Arkansas (86%).
In the West, hot weather prevails, except along the Pacific Coast. Isolated showers associated with the monsoon circulation are confined to the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, Northwestern small grain harvesting is advancing under a favorable weather regime.
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