Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Prime Iowa, Minnesota Corn Country Faces Drought

Prime corn-growing regions of Iowa and Minnesota are facing challenges similar to the last major drought in the region in 1988, causing some growing concern in a year starting with tight corn supply.

Some of the more productive parts of northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota are under pressure, and there's little relief seen to be coming at this time.

While the weather this year is in fact very similar to 1988, the one difference is it is happening earlier than that disastrous year, and so has more time to rebound if wetter weather arrives.

Of course if that doesn't happen, there will be some production and supply problems emerging from the area. If it continues, expectations are parts of eastern Nebraska could be affected as well, and it could spread from there; although that is more the worst case scenario.

In 1988, on average, the drought resulted in about 25 percent less yields for corn.

One major change in corn farming since than has been more drought-resistant corn seed, which should help alleviate some of the effects of dry weather.

That would make it better than 1988, but it would still have a major impact if the weather patterns don't change.

You can see on the map how conditons look at this time.

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