In its monthly Drought Outlook, the National Weather Service says drought will persist in northern Missouri and southeastern Iowa through August, a key month for crop development. Nationwide, about 15 percent of soybean land and 11 percent of corn land is in drought.
Roughly 16 months ago, at their first hearing for the 2018 farm bill, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts and Sen. Debbie Stabenow agreed to write a bipartisan bill that would be enacted on time, a seemingly simple goal that has eluded Congress repeatedly. With a committee vote set for Wednesday on their 1,006-page bill, the two committee leaders say they are on the verge of a major bipartisan victory.
Widespread rainfall in northwestern Kansas eased arid conditions in the No. 1 winter wheat state as this year’s crop nears maturity, said the weekly Drought Monitor. Still, some 69 percent of Kansas remains in drought.
In the agricultural equivalent of coals to Newcastle, the No. 3 soybean grower in the world, Argentina, is buying soybeans from one of its major competitors, the United States, because of drought damage to its own crop.
Searing drought in the central and southern Plains will result in the smallest winter wheat crop since 2002 and the second smallest in 47 years, said the USDA in its first estimate of the summer harvest.
After a record-setting fire season in 2017, this year “is showing all signs of another historic year,” said interim Forest Service chief Vicki Christiansen on Thursday. “I will say above normal is our new normal.”
Cattle producers in Oklahoma lost $26 million in stock, fencing, and facilities to wildfires during April, estimated Derrell Peel, a livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.
More than 19 million acres of corn were planted last week, thanks to generally favorable weather in the Midwest, according to the Crop Progress report released on Monday.
Kansas will reap its smallest winter wheat crop since 1989 and neighboring Oklahoma will harvest half of its usual total because of a months-long drought in the Plains, crop scouts said on Thursday after touring the winter wheat belt.