Although rainfall in the Midwest slowed down last week, mostly adequate soil moisture and moderate temperatures generally favored summer crop development.
Earlier-planted Midwestern corn and soybeans were entering reproduction, with dryness related concerns mostly limited to parts of the western and central Corn Belt.
Meanwhile, record-breaking heat arrived across the drought-ravaged northern Plains, boosting weekly temperatures at least 5 to 10°F above normal. The early-July heat hastened
winter wheat maturation and further increased stress on rangeland, pastures, livestock, and spring-sown crops.
Temperatures peaked across the northern Plains on July 5, topping 100°F in many locations. Very hot, mostly dry weather also prevailed in the West, maintaining heavy irrigation demands and hampering wildfire containment efforts.
Hot weather also affected the middle and southern Atlantic States and the western Gulf Coast region, but near-normal temperatures covered much of the southern Plains, mid-South, and Midwest.