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USA - Drought expands in Missouri while rainfall improves conditions in central and southern Kansas

Drought Monitor released Aug. 16, in the High Plains above-normal rains from the upper-level low reached parts of Kansas by the data cutoff time, but the rest of the region was much drier than normal, with little rainfall reported. D0-D2 were contracted in central and southern Kansas, but the northeast part of the state was still drier than normal for the week. D2-D4 expanded in northeast Kansas, and D0-D1 were expanded in southeast Nebraska, to reflect dryness at the 3 to 9-month time scale. D0-D1 expanded, and D2 was introduced, in the Dakotas. A weaker-than-normal monsoon, coupled with record 1-month evaporative demand due to high temperatures, have stressed vegetation and lowered streamflows in Colorado.

D0 was trimmed slightly in eastern Colorado where it has been wet, but D2-D3 expanded in the northwest to central region where precipitation deficits mounted and stream levels were low. According to August 12 USDA reports, 59% of the pasture and rangeland in Colorado was in poor to very poor condition, and 42% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture; 35% of the pasture and rangeland in Kansas was in poor to very poor condition.

As noted by the South Dakota State Climatologist, the lack of rain and high evaporation accompanying hot temperatures have taken a toll on crop conditions in the central and north central regions. Impacts include soybeans, which are in a critical time for grain fill, are flipping their leaves to reduce water use/loss, corn is turning brown and dead in places, and stock ponds are at very low levels. Statewide, according to USDA reports, 16% of the pasture and rangeland in South Dakota is in poor to very poor condition and 38% of topsoil and 39% of subsoil is short to very short of moisture.

Missouri is the epicenter of drought in the Midwest. Parts of the state have had very hot and dry weather in recent weeks and months, and some parts have been dry for the last year or longer. As a result, D0-D4 were expanded across much of the state. Drought impacts in Missouri, as noted by the NDMC, include weekly cattle sales at the St. Joseph Stockyards have been about 600 head recently, in comparison with typical sales for this time of year of 50 to 60 cattle weekly; low water levels and poor hay production were driving the sales. Forages were dormant in central Missouri, leaving producers to feed hay or find other food sources.

According to Aug. 12 USDA reports, 45% of the corn crop, 37% of the soybean crop, and 76% of the pasture and rangeland in Missouri were in poor to very poor condition, and 79% of the topsoil and 80% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 32% of the pasture and rangeland in Michigan was in poor to very poor condition, and 54% of the topsoil and 58% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 22% of the pasture and rangeland in Illinois was in poor to very poor condition, and 40% of the topsoil and 41% of the subsoil was short or very short of moisture; 28% of the pasture and rangeland in Iowa was in poor to very poor condition, and 36% of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture. Reports received by the Iowa State Climate Office include depleted ponds, dry creek beds, and brown pastures in south central counties.

Source – http://www.hpj.com