Drought Monitor: Shrinkage continues
The drought is over in the eastern half of Iowa, all of Illinois and Indiana, and most of Ohio and Missouri, according to Thursday's update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. It continues a weeks-long trend away from drought in much of the nation's center, though states like Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota remain largely in the drought's grip.
Nationwide, the area under drought fell by just over 1% in the last week. Though this week's 43% figure for drought-free area is still behind last year at this time (50%), the gap is closing; three months ago, just over 31% of the nation was drought-free.
Now, after widespread rainfall (and some snow) at points around the Corn Belt and Plains region in the last week or so, some areas are actually in better shape, moisture-wise, than they were a year ago, says TCFG, LLC - AgTraderTalk.com market analyst Tony McDonald.
"Widespread rainfall (2 to 6 inches) in central Iowa, northwest Missouri, and southeast Nebraska helped ease drought conditions this week," he says. "A surprising look at the year-over-year maps; they are showing that northwest Iowa is in less of a drought this year than they were at this time last year."