Crop Insurance Today Second Quarter 2019 - 8

Figure 4 Summer 2018 (Jun-Aug): Statewide Precipitation and Temperature Ranks, 1895-2018
Statewide Precipitation Ranks

Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

Period: 1895-2018

Period: 1895-2018

June-August 2018

June-August 2018

Record
Driest
(1)

Much
Below
Average

Below
Average

Near
Average

Above
Average

Much
Above
Average

Record
Wettest
(122)

Record
Coldest
(1)

Much
Below
Average

Below
Average

Near
Average

Above
Average

Much
Above
Average

Record
Warmest
(122)

Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps

last year. Upland cotton planted area was eight
percent above last year with 13.3 million planted
acres. Conversely, acreage planted to pima cotton was down four percent from 2017 at 240,400
acres. Spring wheat plantings bounced back from
last year, reaching 13.2 million acres, up 20 percent from 2017.
All wheat planted area for 2018, less spring
wheat, was estimated at 34.6 million acres, down
less than one percent from 2017. The 2018 winter wheat planted area, at 32.7 million acres, was
virtually unchanged from 2017. Of this total,
about 23.2 million acres were Hard Red Winter,
5.89 million acres were Soft Red Winter, and 3.62
million acres were White Winter. Durum planted area for 2018 was 1.89 million acres, down 18
percent from the previous year.
Changes in planted area for other feed grains
showed increases across the board. Sorghum
plantings increased in 2018 to just over six million acres, up more than seven percent from
2017. Barley acreage rebounded and increased by
almost three percent while oats increased by over
11 percent from 2017, reaching 2.9 million acres.
This was not the case for other oilseeds with increases only in sunflower planted acreage up four
percent to 1.5 million acres following last year's
double-digit decline and safflower increasing to
190,000 acres, increasing by 17 percent. Peanut
acreage's increased planting trend reversed, declining by almost 20 percent in 2018 and falling
to just over 1.5 million acres. Canola plantings
in 2018 were only a little over one percent below
the record acreage of 2017 at 2.05 million acres.
8

SECONDQUARTER2019

Flaxseed acreage continued to slide, down more
than 44 percent to 168,000 in 2018, following a 19
percent decline last year.
Summer 2018: The summer began with
a warm June for most of the country, positive
conditions for early crop development. There
were as always exceptions, with below-normal
monthly temperatures in New England and
parts of the Northwest. Accompanying the warm
temperatures, rain, sometimes locally excessive,
fell across the northern and central Plains into
the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States. The
Southeast also experienced widespread showers
(Figure 4).
As with the warm weather, not all areas received early summer rainfall. Portions of Michigan, the southern Mid-Atlantic States, and the
Northeast failed to receive any beneficial moisture. The mid-South and the southwestern Corn
Belt experienced the same dry conditions . There
was limited relief from drought conditions in the
southern High Plains and Southwest; however,
what little rain did fall was not enough to rescue
the winter wheat crop in that area.
In what is becoming a too familiar pattern,
dry weather extended through the Pacific Northwest and from California to Utah. Combined
with some extreme heat, topsoil moisture was
reduced, boosting irrigation demands and by the
end of June there were about five dozen ongoing
wildfires, mainly in the West.
Weather in July remained mostly favorable
to Midwestern crops, although in some parts
of Michigan, Missouri, and portions of neigh-

boring states drought conditions prevailed. In
the Central and Eastern United States, summer
crops benefited from a late-month cooling trend
but drought conditions continued to plague areas East of the Rockies, from Texas into portions
of the middle and lower Mississippi Valley. For
more than a week during the middle of July,
much of Texas experienced extreme heat and
dry conditions that caused significant crop stress.
In contrast, heavy rains fell in parts of the East,
leading to flash flooding, fieldwork delays, and
crop-quality concerns.
Out West, hot and dry conditions prevailed in
California and the Northwest, while some rains
fell in the southern Great Basin and the Southwest. The showers in the Southwest did help
diminish the risk of wildfires but brought little
relief to existing drought conditions. At the same
time, wildfires continued to ravage large areas of
the West, affecting more than two million acres
and causing significant losses of homes, rangeland, and crops such as winter wheat.
Continuing hot weather in August was accompanied by abundant rainfall on most of the
Central and Eastern United States, which benefited rangeland and pasture and maturing summer crops. In the Midwest, a few of the August
rains were excessive, leading to flooding in some
areas late in the month. Not all areas benefited
from the rains, as they arrived too late to provide relief to the drought stricken southwestern
Corn Belt, particularly in Missouri. Some other
areas mostly missed the August rainfall, particularly Deep South Texas, parts of the southern


http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps

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