More than half of Nebraska is suffering from severe to extreme drought, but most of the state could fall into that category after this week’s hot, dry weather. Nebraska State Climatologist Al Dutcher says the driest conditions are in the panhandle and southwest where they have only received 25-percent of normal precipitation the last three months. However, he says the Drought Monitor the last two weeks continues to indicate the drought is rapidly expanding to east in the state.
Dutcher says there are some chances for rain in the next two weeks as the ridge starts to break down, allowing some ridge runner type rain systems to develop in the western corn belt. However, the next two weeks will be critical for corn as the crop heads into the pollination stage and the amount of rain received will dictate the amount of yield loss.
He says a couple of inches of rain over the next one to two weeks could quickly reverse yield loss. However, if it stays dry after pollination the corn will lose about one to two bushels per day.