May 1, 2013

Any Lingering Drought Concerns Pushed to far Western Corn Belt

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Many areas of the central Corn Belt are drying out from the wettest April on record. While the wet weather has delayed field work, it has mitigated any lingering drought concerns for areas east of the Missouri River. Not all the subsoil has been recharged in the central Corn Belt, but it has been recharged enough to allow for a normal corn yields if the summertime weather cooperates.

In Iowa for example the subsoil is now rated 13% very short, 31% short, 51% adequate, and 5% surplus which is much improved from last fall when it was virtually 100% short to very short. The soil moisture in Illinois has seen even better improvement with its subsoil rated 0% very short, 3% short, 72% adequate, and 25% surplus.

The only remaining major production states where low soil moisture is still a concern is Nebraska and Kansas. The majority of the corn in Nebraska is irrigated, so as long as there is enough irrigation water and the summertime weather does not turn hot and dry, the corn crop in Nebraska should be OK. Certainly, this is a tremendous improvement from what was expected just a few months ago when very low soil moisture was a major concern.