Hello everyone! I will have more on the Canada trip with our group of 39 this evening, but in the meantime, this is where we are now & where we go from here (weather-wise):
After a stretch of heat in late July, the first 7 days of August have seen temperatures average below normal.
This is mainly due to the cooler overnights.
This shows you who is the driest in the viewing area as we continue to have a lack of rainfall........a continuation of the drier pattern from latter July:
A year of extremes, a good chunk of the viewing area is now designated as Abnormally Dry! This, after not more than 3 days without any precipitation from mid-December to late June!
The Corn Belt has seen below normal rainfall, overall, for the past 30 days. Parts of Illinois have only had 10% of the normal rainfall for the period.
Even in parts of the viewing area, only 10% of the normal rainfall has been received.
You can see pockets where less than 1" of rain has fallen in the past month. This map is an interpolation of multiple weather stations, so it may not 100% be representative of your exact location.
It does give you an idea, however.
Here at the television station, at West Lafayette, we have seen just 1.29" of rainfall since June 20 & only 0.08" in the past 15 days!
For the summer as a whole (so far), the mean temperature has been running normal to slightly above normal in our viewing area.
Summer rainfall has averaged near normal for much of the area, though it is a bit below normal in the far northwest & a bit above normal in the southeast & east.
Despite the dryness & heat of July, stress degree days on corn have run near normal for the area. This is an interopolated map, so the days may have varied on your particular farm, depending on soil type, the planting conditions at the time & local rainfall patterns. However, it does give you an idea.
Topsoils here in early August are lacking moisture over many areas of the Corn Belt, including our viewing area. Some areas are much worse than others.
Check out the massive change in soil moisture since the start of June to now!
However, subsoil moisture from the wet winter & spring has left a reservoir of water for crops. It is deep, but if they can acess it, they are faring better. This is a substantial reason why crops do not look worse than they do. If the roots cannot access this water, they show stress.
Late-planted crops are showing the stress due to roots now reaching a good enough depth to get to the water locked up in the the "vault".
I remember back in 1996, a similar situation. It was very wet in the spring to early summer, then then rain completely shut off & we had spurts of pretty intense heat. However, despite the significant lack of rainfall right into autumn, the crop was good due to subsoil moisture & then a later killing freeze.
Similar situation occurred in 1997, too.
1995 saw it, but an unusually-early killing freeze greatly cut crop yield & quality on many farms in the area.
Trend is for better opportunities for rainfall over the next couple of weeks.
Normal to above normal rainfall is projected overall.