Crop experts in Indiana said today that conditions there are as bad or worse than in 1988. The new Drought Monitor report, released this morning, says 56% of the Lower 48 is in drought - the most in the 12-year history of the report.
Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt estimated that as of July 1, Indiana had already lost 20 percent of the expected corn yields - down to 133 bushels per acre, compared with 166 expected at spring planting.
Soybeans fared slightly better in the yield projections, down 15 percent at 41.3 bushels per acre instead of 48.6 bushels expected early in the season. Part of the reason is because soybeans still have time to recover somewhat with a return to more normal rainfall.
“Soybean yields are significantly related to August temperatures and precipitation,” Hurt said. “There is still potential for yield recovery in soybeans up until late July and even into August.”
In Iowa, University climatologist Elwynn Taylor said it's still too early to write off the corn crop in eastern Iowa. He says heat stress in eastern Iowa has been less than in 1988 and closer to that experienced during 1956.