Typical early-July pattern covers the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather and near- or above-normal temperatures have returned in the wake of beneficial rainfall. Dryness-related concerns are greatest in the eastern Corn Belt, where corn and soybeans were generally planted later due to spring wetness and have faced adversities such as May freezes. Among Midwestern States, corn was rated less than two-thirds good to excellent on June 28 only in Indiana (63% good to excellent), Ohio (63%), and Michigan (65%).

On the Plains, isolated showers are causing only minor fieldwork delays as the winter wheat harvest advances northward. By June 28, the winter wheat harvest was 47% complete in Kansas but had not yet begun in Montana and South Dakota. Summer crops across the northern Plains are benefiting from recent rainfall and a concurrent boost in topsoil moisture, while rangeland, pastures, and many rain-fed crops on the central and southern High Plains continue to experience significant drought stress.

In the South, showers have diminished in coverage and intensity. Still, warm, humid weather accompanies scattered showers, favoring a rapid pace of summer crop development. In addition, the winter wheat harvest is nearing completion in many areas of the South—89% complete in Arkansas on June 28, along with 73% in North Carolina.

In the West, temperatures are slowly rebounding but remain mostly below normal. A Frost Advisory Was in effect early Thursday in parts of south-central Oregon. Mostly dry weather is promoting fieldwork, including initial winter wheat harvesting in the Northwest, but topsoil moisture was at least one-half very short to short on June 28 in New Mexico (86%), California (80%), Colorado (69%), and Wyoming (59%).

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