For the first three weeks in July, temperatures in the Corn Belt were generally near or below normal. In the final week of the month, week ending July 29, temperatures turned hot across the region making this the fourth hottest final week of July in over 30 years for the Corn Belt, according to data from WeatherTrends360.
Hot weather combined with lingering drought issues in the region raised concern for heat stress among the corn crop. Precipitation was at the 11th lowest in 30-plus years for the final week of July in the Corn Belt. The heaviest precipitation fell in the eastern Corn Belt, where there are fewer drought issues.
The heat relaxes somewhat in the first week of August, week ending Aug. 5, but the week overall will still trend slightly warmer than normal. According to forecasts from WeatherTrends360, this will be the 13th warmest first week of August in 30-plus years for the Corn Belt. Southern areas will see a better chance of hotter weather while temperatures cool relative to the prior week across the core of the Corn Belt.
Precipitation chances will continue to be scattered in the first week of August. It also can be expected to trend drier than normal in the Corn Belt. According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, 59% of the United States corn crop was in an area experiencing drought as of July 25. Drought continues to impact a large portion of the major corn crop area of the Corn Belt going into August. Abnormally dry and drought conditions will have a better chance of expanding rather than contracting through the first half of August which could put crop yields in jeopardy.