Heat & storms on parts of Plains, another dry day across the Midwest Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather prevails, except in westernmost corn and soybean production areas from the Dakotas southward.  By June 18, topsoil moisture was rated more than one-half very short to short in all Midwestern States, except Ohio and North Dakota, led by Michigan (89%) and Illinois (87%).  On the same date, Michigan also led the U.S. in very poor to poor ratings for corn (28%) and soybeans (32%). 

On the Plains, record-breaking heat across much of Texas and portions of neighboring states is severely stressing summer crops entering reproduction.  By June 18 in Texas, 62% of the corn had reached the silking stage or beyond.  June 20 was the hottest day ever observed in Texas locations such as San Angelo (114°F) and Del Rio (113°F).  In contrast, showers are occurring in the vicinity of a cold front stretching from the Dakotas to Kansas, with cooler air trailing the front.  

In the South, hot weather continues to plague the western Gulf Coast region, where Wednesday’s high temperatures will again approach or reach 100°F.  Farther east, however, rain is benefiting Southeastern pastures and summer crops.  On June 18, at least 70% of the pastures in Alabama and the Carolinas were rated in good to excellent condition. 

In the West, cool conditions persist.  Despite recent Northwestern showers, pockets of dryness persist in some key agricultural areas.  For example, Oregon led the western U.S. on June 18 with topsoil moisture rated 70% very short to short, followed by Washington at 65%.  Oregon also led the region with 40% of its winter wheat rated very poor to poor.  

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