I just returned from a morning at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL. I am always amazed at the advances in agriculture since the days of my grandparent’s farm. But it was a very warm and dusty adventure.
Big changes have come to the Midwest over the last 30 days. After a wet spring, and cool June and July, the hot, dry weather has arrived. The first map shows the observed precipitation in the last 30 days. Southern Missouri, far southern Illinois, and Kentucky have received 4 or more inches of rain. Meanwhile large swaths of the Midwest have received less than 2 inches. Some areas in Illinois have had less than an inch.
In the last week, hot weather arrived as well. It is a mixed blessing. While it may speed up crop development, it also speeds up the demand on dwindling soil moisture by corn and soybeans. The second map shows the average temperature departures across the Midwest. Illinois is running 1 to 5 degrees above average with the departures increasing northward. In fact, the worst of the heat, in terms of departures from average, is in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas.
Maps of the Midwest are found at the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s Climate Watch.