Plentiful rain has been the weather condition for much of the Corn Belt this year, and according to a report by Adisseo and Novak Weather Consultants, this pattern will continue for several more weeks. However, North Carolina, the Southern Plains and Deep South have been experiencing an ongoing drought.
Both drought and high moisture impact mold and mycotoxin contamination, but it is important to remember that Fusarium molds benefit from higher moisture conditions, while Aspergillus proliferates in dryer growing conditions. This creates a higher risk of Aflatoxin contamination.
According to a USDA report issued Sept. 29, around 43% of corn reached maturity, compared to 84% in 2018 and 73% in the five-year average. This delay can expose grains to severe weather or improper moisture conditions during harvest.
Because grains will be harvested with higher moisture content in the Corn Belt, attention must be paid to forced drying procedures so that burning and damage to the grains is avoided. If grains are stored with more than 14% moisture for long periods it can be detrimental to quality because of the potential for mold growth.
The report also details U.S. and regional outlooks for October.
An active early fall weather pattern will cover much of the central and northern U.S. as a fast southwest to northeast jet stream configuration will dominate, especially in the first half of October.
The jet stream steering winds are expected to dive southeast into the western U.S. then veer east to northeast across the Central Plains and then into the southern Great Lakes region before leaving the U.S. over southern New England. This pattern often creates active weather across much of the U.S., especially over the Corn Belt and heart of the country.
As the second half of October begins, the jet stream will surge north into Canada, which will bring unseasonably warm weather conditions to much of the country, limiting the opportunities for a heard frost or freeze for many.
In terms of precipitation, the battle zone that’s wavering north to south over the northern and central plains will shift east and fix near the Corn Belt. This shift will exacerbate the unusually wet season that has plagued much of the northern Corn Belt over the last several months.
However, there appears to be no end on the horizon to the dry conditions of the Deep South and southeastern U.S. For the most part, tropical moisture has avoided these areas and this trend will likely continue.
A bright spot in the report is the prediction of much drier conditions for the Northern Plains. This will finally give that area an opportunity to dry out.
Canadian air will give way to a warmer weather pattern as the month continues. This will likely delay a hard frost or freeze for many. The zone that brought significant rain into this region over the last month will move south into Iowa, southern Wisconsin and Illinois, where heavy rains are expected and will enhance the already moist conditions happening in some areas.
Periods of significant rain are expected in much of this region as the frontal zone sags into the northern and central Appalachian Mountains and along the mid-Atlantic coast. A contrast between wet and dry will set up somewhere near or south of the Tennessee River Valley, while temperatures should be near normal for much of the region as cool Canadian air and warm Gulf of Mexico air fight for real estate control.
Dry conditions are expected to enhance drought conditions that this region has been experiencing. The high-pressure ridge that is anchored over the southeastern U.S. will eventually breakdown and in turn a cooler weather pattern will develop. According to the report, there’s some hope for moisture, but it won’t be a widespread soaking rain. The wildcard is whether or not tropical systems will affect this part of the U.S.
There won’t be much change in this region as the active jet stream stays just north of the Southern Plains. This will bring a mostly dry weather pattern. Much of this part of the country has been unusually dry and developed serious drought conditions, which is not expected to change.