The dryness is favorable for fieldwork and a majority of corn planting has wrapped up across the main-producing states, now farmers are shifting their focus to moisture. Recent dry conditions have increased the in various regions with areas including abnormally dry to drought conditions are cropping up on the United States Drought Monitor.


Abnormally dry conditions are seeping into eastern portions of Iowa, Illinois, and western Indiana. These areas will likely degrade further, and abnormally dry conditions could be expanded in the next Drought Monitor report on June 1.

Temperature-wise, the final week of May was slightly warmer than normal across the Corn Belt. Hotter weather was sustained across the northern Plains, but fluctuated across the core of the Corn Belt. Soil temperatures are well within the required range for germination. Indeed, the USDA Crop Progress report, with data through May 21 reported corn emergence is ahead of last year and the 5-year average. 

As May closes out and June begins, the heat will shift farther east and south into the core of the Corn Belt. The start of June, week-ending June 3, will be the third hottest in 30+ years.

Unfortunately, the dry weather is set to continue as the mercury rises, which has started to raise concerns for soil moisture, especially as evapotranspiration rates increase in the heat. This forecast is to be one of the driest starts to June in 30+ years for the Corn Belt. If moisture isn’t realized soon, more areas of the Corn Belt will fall into abnormally dry to drought conditions. 

Current forecast models indicate a shift in the pattern towards the middle of June, if realized, this should bring more precipitation into the Corn Belt. However, if the precipitation does not materialize and the drier regime continues, issues will develop for the corn crop. 

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