World Bulletin / News Desk
Dry weather will return to the drought-stricken U.S. Midwest crop region, with corn and soybeans ending their growing season on a negative note after this week's rains provedto be too little too late, an agricultural meteorologist said Friday.
"There were some decent rains in central Illinois and west central Indiana yesterday, but it's too late for corn and too late for most of the bean crop," said Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.
The worst drought in more than 50 years through the heart of the summer growing season severely hurt the corn and soybean crops, slashing production and driving prices to record highs.
Rains now will help some of the later-maturing soybeans, mainly in the Northwest, but showers arrivedtoo late to revive any of the corn crop, Keeney said.
From 1.0 to 1.5 inches of rain fell in the central Midwest on Thursday, with up to 2.5 inches in westcentral Indiana.
There has not been enough rain to end the historic drought, and now it appeared there would be a return to drier weather.
"It looks like a dry weekend and dry next week, there could be some rain in the last week of August," he said.
Cooler temperatures, with highs in the 70s to 80s degrees Fahrenheit, were forecast for most of the Midwest crop region.
The oppressive heat and dryness kept a tight grip on top farm states over the past week. Although there were a few improvements, some areas experienced more serious degradation, according to a weekly report from climate experts released on Thursday.
Rain provided some relief to parched farmland stretching from Iowa through Ohio, but other areas including the Southern and Central Plains remained scorched.
"This week we saw a decline in drought in the lower 48 states for the third week in a row, but the overall decline was small," said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.
"Last week drought covered 62.46 percent of the area, and this week 61.77 percent was in drought," he said.
Fuchs said the weekly Drought Monitor released on Thursday showed a one-in-50-year drought was under way in the United States, and no significant letup was in sight from the devastating impact oncrops and livestock.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) already has made deep cuts for this year's corn and soybean output as the drought spread through America's bread basket.
The agency said the 2012 corn crop would fall below 11.0 billion bushels for the first time in six years and the number of bushels yielded per acre was at a 17-year low. Soybean production was forecast at a five-year low and soy yield per acre at nearly a 10-year low.
Analysts and crop experts said additional cuts may be seen in future reports.
USDA will update its crop production data in early September.
Activists decry decision by Cambodia’s Ministry of Labour, one warning could lead to civil unrest
The move was cheered by the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions and Federation of Free Trade Unions
With overnight temperatures already nudging below freezing in Ukraine, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hailed an accord clinched in Brussels
Xinhua said China has sent 20 teams to Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia and other neighbouring countries, arresting 75 suspects.
Supporters say law will return country to energy self-sufficiency; critics say it is too lenient on companies.
The toll is expected to be introduced in 2016. Motorists have to pay it by registering their license plates via the internet. Foreigners can also pay the levy at gas stations
Moscow's Arbitration Court ruled in favour of prosecutors who said Bashneft was unlawfully sold to local authorities in the early 2000s before being sold in 2009 to oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema
Waste oil from Chinese dinner tables to power airplanes by converting into aviation biofuel
The World Bank announced Singapore had been ranked the best country to do business in for a ninth consecutive year
LPG "certainly provides lower carbon dioxide per unit of energy than diesel and petrol when used in vehicles" expert claims
52 countries and regions including Germany, UK and South Africa agree to exchange financial information
OPEC members have previously said they wanted oil at around $100 a barrel
World stocks rose on Wednesday, lifted by strong corporate earnings and investor optimism that the U.S. Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates for some time, even as it is expected to officially wind down its bond-buying stimulus programme
London-based solar plant developer aims to bring solar power generated in Tunisia to Europe as electricity in 2018.
All 48 of the country's nuclear reactors were gradually taken offline following Fukushima, the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
British PM said the bill made it harder to make the case to keep Britain in the European Union before a membership referendum he has promised in 2017 if he is re-elected next year.