By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The Midwestern U.S. is experiencing a heat wave that is resulting in less than favorable conditions for farmers in the region. The unexpected heat wave is creating drought conditions raising concerns about agricultural crops – especially corn. Over the years the area has faced drought conditions with the worse dating back to 1988. This part of the U.S. is known as the Corn Belt. Agriculture experts are concerned that the weather conditions have reached crisis level given that the hottest part of summer is yet to come.
"Rainfall will be spotty and stingy as waves of heat expand from the central Plains to the Tennessee and Ohio valley states into July” says Jason Nicholls, an Agricultural Meteorologist.
The situation is even more worrisome because corn is at the peak of its pollination period which could affect the long-term value the crop. The combination of drought and heat is not sitting well with agriculture producers that’s livelihood depends on their crops. But there is some hope. If the weather turns around in the next couple of weeks it could save the crop from a disaster.
"Essentially, if significant rain does not fall on the corn areas in severe drought over the next couple of weeks, yields could be severely impacted," Nicholls said.
But these extreme weather conditions are not only impacting crops but are also putting stress on livestock and their pasture lands. The tempters have continued to climb over 100 degrees across 19 states. The good news is that the northern part of the Corn Belt is predicted to experience some rainfall resulting in less extreme conditions. One can only hope that the weather will straighten around to save the corn crops and other high value crops such as soybeans.