Latest monitor shows decreases and increases in drought across Midwest
The latest US Drought Monitor shows improvements in some areas of the Midwest and worsening conditions in others.
USDM authors report heavy rains across parts of the Midwest and Ohio River Valley led to widespread improvements from southeast Nebraska to central Illinois, southern Indiana and central and eastern Kentucky. But drier weather created larger deficits in southern Missouri and parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The monitor did not show any significant changes in the delta region, with the Missouri bootheel, northern Arkansas, and western parts of Tennessee and Kentucky still abnormally dry or in moderate drought.
Leland Browning of Appleton City resides in a newly categorized extreme drought area of western Missouri. He tells Brownfield they did catch up to 2 inches of rain last weekend, but it went deep into the ground.
“We’re doing half to two-thirds of a hay crop. Pastures are pretty well almost non-existent. And the water situation for cattle…the ponds are real low.”
Browning, who works for grain elevator Heiman Inc., says row crops on the other hand are showing more resilience.
“Corn and beans, somehow or another are amazingly hanging on. It’s got to be the cool nights. There is still pretty good yield potential on the corn.”
The USDA reports 67% of corn acres, 60% of soybean acres, 33% of alfalfa hay acreage and 31% of the US hay inventory is in an area currently affected by drought.
Brownfield Interviewed Browning at the University of Missouri Pest Management Field Day on Thursday.