Myers said 2013's roller-coaster weather is similar to that of 2011, when a cool, wet spring was followed by extremely dry and hot weather. Sandwiched between those years was the historic 2012 drought.
On Sept. 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Survey reported 99% of northeastern Missouri is short of topsoil moisture. The U.S. Drought Monitor showed nearly 30% of the state in moderate to severe drought, with the most intense lack of rainfall across northern Missouri.
A dry August in northern Missouri
MU Extension Commercial Agriculture climatologist Pat Guinan said it was the driest August across northern Missouri in three decades, or since 1984, with weather stations at Kirksville Regional Airport, Edina, Canton Lock and Dam, Macon and Brookfield reporting the driest August on record.
Guinan said cool weather for most of the summer and an unusual amount of cloudy days mitigated initial drought stress potential.
"As drought first began in Missouri, its effects were easily overlooked. Cool day and night temperatures up until mid-August reduced water evaporation," Wiebold said. "Visible signs of drought were not apparent."
By the time abnormally high temperatures occurred in late August and again in September, plants had already removed available stored water in soils.
Remnants of Hurricane Isaac came to the last-minute rescue of the 2012 soybean crop, but no relief is in sight for this year. Grain producers and ag experts are now looking at crops and wondering if yields in 2013 will be a repeat of 2012.
Source: MU Extension