Lack of rainfall is stressing Missouri’s crops according to University of Missouri Climatologist Pat Guinan. This week’s USDA Crop Progress Report says 40% of North Central Missouri’s fields and almost 30% of Northeast Missouri’s fields lack topsoil moisture.
“A lot of sunshine has really driven up evaporative demand. Those soils don’t have much moisture in them,” said Guinan. “What’s going to sustain the crops, is what falls from up above and that’s in the form of rainfall. Each day we go by with these summer like temperatures and no rainfall, conditions are only going to get worse.”
Guinan says farm fields in Mid-Missouri haven’t been this dry since 1992.
“Columbia tends to be the bulls-eye when we look at some of the deficits since January 1. We’ve racked up about a deficit in excess of eight inches,” said Guinan. “We’ve had just over ten inches of rain. That’s about 55% of normal for a five-and-a-half-month period.”
The USDA Drought Monitor categorized nearly 20% of Missouri as abnormally dry.
Kyle Hill of KWIX contributed to this story.