Perry Beeman and Dan Piller reported in today’s Des Moines Register that, “Iowa and the rest of the Midwest are likely to be warmer and drier than normal in early winter, the National Weather Service projected on Thursday.
“Forecasters said there is little evidence the drought will ease, though it might shift to the west. That would still leave the Midwest solidly in the drought, which has cut corn yields, threatened drinking water supplies and dried wetlands used by wildlife.”
The Register article included these graphs (click on graph for expanded view):
Beeman and Dan Piller added that, “Farmers are watching particularly closely because if Iowa’s fields don’t get significant rain by Dec. 1, next year’s corn seeds will get off to another thirsty start, state agriculture officials say.”
The Register article explained that, “Because corn and soybean prices are 20 to 25 percent higher this year than last, the economic impact on Iowa agriculture from the 2012 drought will be muted. Farmers expect to reap close to the record $20 billion in cash receipts they enjoyed in 2011.
“Iowa hog and cattle producers will face most of the negative effects. They are girding to pay record feed costs for what is the nation’s largest hog inventory and fifth-largest cattle feeding stock. Hog producers are expected to finish the year in the red and, barring an unexpected turnaround, will suffer similar losses next year, according to Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics, an analyst for pork producers’ organizations.”