While USDA’s most recent Crop Progress Report showed a lack of improvement in crop conditions following rain in the southern half of the Corn Belt, national good-to-excellent ratings increased by 1 point for corn and fell 2 points for soybeans.
Despite the widespread rain, where many areas saw more than 2 inches, a heat dome in the southern U.S. brought temperatures near or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat undoubtedly stressed already-dry crops, likely canceling out benefits from the rainfall. However, the biggest reason for the lack of improvement is likely the subsoil moisture levels that have been zapped due to drought.
Storage of subsoil moisture has already been low, eliminating the usual backup plan for crops experiencing dry conditions. While some areas saw noticeable improvements in this critical moisture layer, most states still see meaningful stress in dryness.
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