Midwest Moisture Deficit Seen at 4-5 Inches by Martell

The moisture deficit in the U.S. Midwest is 4 to 5 inches after “extremely dry weather” in the past 30 days, agricultural-weather forecaster Martell Crop Projections said.

Wet conditions developed in the Midwest, with a band of thunderstorms moving from the western corn belt into Missouri, northwest Illinois and Wisconsin, Martell wrote in an e-mailed report today. Radar images suggest locally heavy rainfall of as much as 2 inches, Martell wrote.

The March-May spring season was the hottest in the U.S. on record, based on figures from the National Climatic Data Center, according to the forecaster. The lack of rain in the country’s grain belt in combination with heat has damaged crop potential, Martell said.

“Soaking rain would be beneficial, but not enough to erase drought,” Martell wrote. “Extreme heat has hastened field drying, enhancing evaporation.”

Today’s U.S. Department of Agriculture crop-progress report is expected to show a “sharp decline” in conditions for corn and soybeans, according to Martell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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