USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum featured a weather outlook for 2013 during the final session of the two-day event in Arlington, Virginia. Prior to the 2013 outlook—which was presented by National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Anthony Artusa—USDA meteorologists Brad Rippey and Eric Luebehusen recapped some of the key U.S. and Northern Hemisphere agricultural drought highlights, respectively, from the summer of 2012. In particular, the U.S. heartland suffered through its worst agricultural drought in a generation, with effects similar to those observed in 1988. Grain corn was the hardest-hit U.S. row crop, while the livestock sector was severely affected by a lack of feed due to drought-ravaged rangeland and pastures. Meanwhile, a hotter-, drier‐than‐normal summer impacted crops from southern Europe into central and eastern Russia. Hardest-hit crops included corn in Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as spring wheat in Russia’s Siberia District. Read more »
During the recent annual Comprehensive Partnership meeting in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indonesian Foreign Minister Natalegawa applauded recent initiatives supported by the U.S. Forest Service’s International Programs, including forest governance, environmental impact assessment, climate change mitigation, and the sustainable management of forests.
International Programs draws on the expertise of the entire agency to promote sustainable forest management overseas and to bring important technologies and innovations back to the U.S. Through International Programs, the Forest Service advocates for U.S. interests abroad by engaging with numerous governmental and non-governmental partners to share best practices on a range of conservation issues.
The U.S. Comprehensive Partnership is a long-term commitment between the United States and Indonesia to broaden, deepen and elevate bilateral relations. Officials from both countries consult regularly on issues such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, climate change and the spread of communicable diseases. Read more »
Approximately 88% of the corn grown in the U.S. is within an area experiencing drought, based on historical NASS crop production data. (Click to enlarge map)
Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.
The drought of 2012 has rapidly expanded and intensified, covering 64% of the contiguous United States – according to the U.S. Drought Monitor – by July 17. Three months ago, that figure stood at 37%, and at the beginning of the year, only 28% of the lower 48 states had drought coverage. Read more »
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
Weekend thundershowers provided limited and localized relief to a few Midwestern fields, but most of the Corn Belt remains in dire need of moisture. Currently, very hot weather is building back into the Midwest. High temperatures above 100°F can be expected in portions of the western Corn Belt for the remainder of the week. The eastern Corn Belt should experience some mid- to late-week heat relief, but only scattered showers will accompany the transition to cooler weather. Like last week, substantial drought relief will be confined to the Southeast. Read more »
U.S. Corn Areas Experiencing Drought. Reflects July 10, 2012 U.S. (click to enlarge)
On July 11, USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board cut the estimate for the 2012 U.S. corn crop by 1.82 billion bushels to “reflect expected impacts of persistent and extreme June and early-July dryness and heat across the central and eastern Corn Belt.” The 12% cut, which left the projected U.S. corn production at 12.97 billion bushels, is a direct result of the nation’s worst drought in a generation—since 1988. Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced that more than 1,000 counties across in 26 states would be designated as disaster areas due to the worsening drought. Read more »