BY JOHN FELDT
BLUE WATER OUTLOOK
The current U.S. Drought Monitor at the end of the growing season shows parts of Iowa in moderate to extreme (red) drought.
Other areas of the corn belt, especially Illinois, eastern Missouri, and parts of southern Wisconsin and Michigan are experiencing unusually dry conditions or moderate drought (yellow).
At the current time, about 10% of U.S. corn production is listed within an area experiencing drought.
Compare the current 2017 end-of-season Drought Monitor (left) with last year at the same time (right). Hardly any of the Midwest reported drought last year.
Seasonal Progression of Drought
For the entire corn belt, note that the 2017 growing season started off with minimal drought, before drought increased to around 15% in July.
Currently, the hardest hit spot is centered over South Central and Eastern Iowa. Following is a rainfall accumulation for Osceola, Iowa — close to the area of extreme drought.
Seasonal Rainfall Anomalies
Seasonal Cumulative Rainfall
The following plot compares cumulative rainfall for the U.S. corn belt (red dot) compared to last year (blue dot) and the 20-year average (black line).
Early in the season conditions were running ahead of last year for a while but have pulled back a lot over the past month — showing the emerging drought. While we are averaging close to the normal (black) there has been significant regional variability.