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Half US corn, soybean crops in drought conditions

Late July's sizzling temperatures and scattered rainfall create crop yield worries.

Cornfield Row Kirahoffmann Pixabay com
kirahoffmann | PIXABAY.com

In late July, drought expanded across U.S. corn-growing areas, achieving the second-highest levels in 24 years.

According to Reuters, data this week could show a worsening of drought conditions in the Corn Belt after last week's sizzling temperatures and scattered rainfall, which could reignite crop yield concerns after what had largely been favorable July weather.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows 59% of U.S. corn affected by moderate or worse drought as of Tuesday, up from 55% in the previous week, which was a six-week low. Some 23% of corn was experiencing severe or worse drought, up from 21%. The Drought Monitor also shows 60% of soybean production areas experiencing drought conditions.

The share of corn areas under severe or worse drought is similar to some past years where yields were considered decent. That includes 2021, 2006 and 2005, where severe drought gripped 18% to 21% of U.S. corn in late July.

According to Bloomberg, without a letup in the current Midwest heatwave, the potential size of the upcoming crop is getting smaller by the day. 

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