Modest drought improvement noted in some areas
Recent rainfall has significantly improved the drought conditions south of I-70, and north of I-74. In between, moderate to severe drought continues. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, severe drought conditions exist over portions of central Illinois, roughly from about Monticello, westward. Moderate drought conditions were reported in east-central Illinois.
Across the rest of the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather continues to promote corn and soybean maturation and harvesting. In addition, soft red winter wheat planting is accelerating in the primary Midwestern production areas, which stretch from the middle Mississippi Valley into the lower Great Lakes region.
On the Plains, isolated showers are developing in advance of an approaching storm system. Across southern areas, some producers are planting winter wheat in anticipation of upcoming rainfall.