JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The hot, dry weather that's currently lingering across most of the Show Me State could prove detrimental to Missouri's corn growers.
With no end in sight, temperatures are expected to remain in the mid- to upper-90s throughout the rest of this week.
It comes at a bad time for the 3.2 million acres of corn crops planted in Missouri this year. Kelly Smith, director of marketing and commodities for the Missouri Farm Bureau, said the current weather system represents the worst conditions for corn pollination, which is currently taking place. Smith said it's too early to predict the extent of the damage, but said the weather could lead to volatility in an agricultural commodities market that has already seen record prices this year.
It's also proving a challenge for the state's livestock producers. Many ranchers have had to prematurely dip into their hay supplies to cover for the loss of edible grass for grazing animals. Smith said the heat is a particular challenge to the state's 95,000 dairy cows, which depend on cooler temperatures more than most livestock animals.
"I think a far as the livestock industry, probably our dairy folks are being hit the hardest with this hot weather because with a dairy cow, the challenge there is to keep that cow cool so they will be more productive in the pounds of milk they produce," Smith said.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service say the current high temperatures across the state are not unusually high, but that the length of the heat wave is atypical.