Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist
Pat Guinan, Missouri State Climatologist
This time of year questions about frost/freeze potential are common as producers look for a little more time for crops to mature, or gardeners and horticultural interests hope for some extra days to collect a few more tomatoes. Projecting specific frost dates are difficult beyond using models out to 1-2 weeks. Thus, climatologies and current crop progress become very important.
This year, current crop progress varies greatly across the Plains and Midwest because of spring and early summer planting conditions. Early spring in the northern plains/upper Midwest was quite dry allowing easy planting progress and warm soils before rains started occurring in May. This situation was in large contrast to the southern and eastern parts of the Corn Belt. Continue reading
By Michelle Proctor, Senior Information Specialist, and Pat Guinan, Extension/State Climatologist, University of Missouri
Pat Guinan, University of Missouri Extension climatologist with the Commercial Agriculture Program, encourages people to use the Drought Impact Reporter (DIR) as a way to inform decision makers of drought related impacts experienced across their state. The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) in Lincoln, Nebraska has rolled out newer versions of the online tool over the past few years.
“By contributing information via http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/, we can provide additional impact reports to the Drought Monitor authors, who will then use the information in their weekly drought depiction process,” said Guinan. Continue reading
The 2013 growing season was dominated by anomalous weather conditions for much of the spring and summer, and made it another challenging year for Missouri farmers. Agricultural conditions only began to improve toward the end of the growing season with favorable harvesting opportunities, and some rain that initiated forage growth. Drought, however, was still impacting the northern half of state during October, and despite a widespread significant rain event at the end of the month, more rain was needed to recharge water supplies above and below the ground. The most notable anomaly for this year’s growing season in Missouri was incredible precipitation disparities that occurred – from historic flooding in southern sections to severe drought in the north. Continue reading
Missouri has experienced some large precipitation disparities this summer, ranging from moderate drought to historic flooding. The disparities have been especially notable in August. Some south central counties have received 15-20 inches of rain this month, whereas 120 miles to the north…not a drop.
Several counties across northern Missouri have received less than 2-inches of rain since July 1, which is more than 6-inches below normal. Crop stress has emerged in the driest areas, with some firing and leaf curling reported, more notably in upland areas, or in soils with higher clay or sand content. Cool July and August temperatures, in combination with below normal ET rates, have mitigated full drought stress potential but corn yields are declining due to the current high water demand of late planted corn, and during a critical growth stage. Soybean growth has also slowed down in these drier areas.
Unlike last year, below normal evaporative rates this spring and summer has had less impact on surface water supplies, and they remain mostly adequate despite the extended dry spell across northern Missouri.
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