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Could Rain Associated With Harvey Significantly Impact Livestock or Agriculture?

I’m pleased to present a guest blog post from former NWS hydrologist John Feldt of Blue Water Outlook, discussing the impact of Hurricane Harvey on agriculture across the US. Tomorrow I will look at news reports on impacts of Harvey’s rainfall on agriculture across Texas.

Past Rainfall Totals

To date, rainfall associated with Harvey has primarily impacted livestock and hay-growing regions of Southeast Texas. An estimated 1.2 million head of cattle are within the core of heaviest rain.

Rainfall totals through 8 a.m. Tuesday from Harvey. (Jordan Tessler)

Hurricane Harvey will start to lift northeast and accelerate later this week spreading heavy rain further inland. Note the large path cone by the weekend indicating a significant degree of uncertainty.

Tropical Storm Harvey Moves Further Inland

Heaviest rain, in some cased above 8 inches, can be expected over Southeast Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Northwest Florida.

Total Rainfall Forecast

Impact on Livestock

Harvey’s future track will remain outside of the primary Great Plains livestock region but it could result in heavy rain over scattered livestock regions over the South Central U.S. and the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys.

Harvey’s Track and Key Livestock Areas

Prime Mississippi Delta Growing Region Impacts

While the primary corn belt will be outside the heaviest rain, some corn-production will be impacted. Corn-growing regions within the red line, including the Mississippi River Agriculture Lowlands south of Cairo, could receive the most rain.

While some areas are trending dry and could use additional rain, the core of heaviest rain with Harvey could result in widespread pooling of water and field inundation over the Mississippi Delta region.

Impacts To The Primary U.S. Corn Belt

Based on the current forecast track, the primary Midwest corn belt should remain outside the core of heaviest rainfall.