Drought is creeping across the Corn Belt

Many key producing states are experiencing drier-than-normal conditions through August.

Drought and dryness continue to expand across the Corn Belt.

While Iowa continues to see the worst conditions – only 3.7% of the state is drought-free – many key grain-producing states are seeing a degradation in conditions as August nears an end. At the beginning of the month, Illinois was 97.9% drought-free, but by the August 25, about 41.4% of the state was abnormally dry and 4.3% was experiencing moderate drought.

In Indiana, much of the northern half of the state was already abnormally dry at the start of August, but conditions have declined in the northeastern corner of the state, where moderate drought has begun to spread. Over the last three weeks, severe drought conditions have expanded in parts of Nebraska, now impacting 16.2% of the state, while abnormal dryness has also increased across central portions of the state.

MondayMaps.8.30.2020

Looking at precipitation during the first four weeks of August, it’s no surprise that many are seeing a slow increase in dryness and drought.

For the Corn Belt as a whole, precipitation through the August 28 has trended significantly below average; it’s the third driest in the last 29-plus years. Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota have each seen the driest or second driest August in 29-plus years thus far. Although others like Indiana, Ohio, and North Dakota haven’t ranked quite as dry, each is still trending well below normal for month-to-date rainfall.

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