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D4 exceptional drought in 3 of top 18 corn growing states

As August begins, more than 51% of the lower 48 states are suffering from drought. Of the top 18 corn growing states, D4 exceptional drought has been reported in three – Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Texas

The D4 regions in Texas expanded during the 7-day period ending August 2 and now cover more than 21% of the state.

USDA’s Crop Progress Report released August 1 indicated the High and Low Plains, the Edwards Plateau, the Blacklands, and South Central Texas are the driest regions.

More than 40% of Texas is in extreme drought. About 26% of the state is suffering from severe drought. Moderate drought covers more than 9% of the state, and over 2% of the state is abnormally dry. Less than 1% of the Lone Star state is free of drought conditions.

Map of Texas drought conditions
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

The same USDA report showed topsoil moisture conditions across Texas were 69% very short, 13% short, 16% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 66% very short, 20% short, 14% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Corn harvest has started in Texas, and was reported at 8% complete on Monday, just behind the five-year average of 9%. Producers noted short plants in parts of the Blacklands due to persistent drought conditions.

Texas corn condition was rated 18% very poor, 32% poor, 30% fair, 19% good, and 1% excellent.

Soybeans in Texas were rated 3% very poor, 25% poor, 42% fair, 28% good, 2% excellent.

Livestock producers continue supplemental feeding across the state. USDA reports producers are also liquidating their cattle due to the lack of pastureland and dry conditions. Range and pasture conditions were most recently rated 65% very poor, 26% poor, 8% fair, 1% good, and 0% excellent.

Dry conditions across the state have increased the risk of wildfire. Texas A&M Forest Service and local fire departments responded to 7,680 wildfires for 626,558 acres in 2022.

Kansas

D4 conditions retreated slightly in Kansas compared to the week prior. The U.S. Drought Monitor released August 4 indicated more than 7% of the state is experiencing exceptional drought.The D4 area is concentrated in the southwestern part of the state and covers portions of 14 counties including all of Finney and Haskell.

Nearly 17% of Kansas is suffering from extreme drought. More than 20% of the state reported severe drought. Almost 23% of the state is in moderate drought, while abnormally dry conditions cover over 12% of the state. Less than 20% of the state, concentrated in the northwest region, is free of moisture stress.

Map of Kansas drought conditions
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

USDA’s Crop Progress Report released August 1 showed topsoil moisture conditions across Kansas were 24% very short, 35% short, 40% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 30% very short, 39% short, 31% adequate, and 0% surplus.

The same report indicated corn silking was 74% complete, behind the 85% five-year average. Dough was at 29%, also behind the five-year average of 42%.

Corn condition in Kansas was rated 15% very poor, 18% poor, 31% fair, 30% good, and 6% excellent.

Soybeans blooming was 65%, behind the five-year average of 70%. Setting pods was 25%, behind the five-year average of 37%.

Soybean condition in Kansas was rated 5% very poor, 14% poor, 35% fair, 40% good, and 6% excellent.

Pasture and range conditions were rated 29% very poor, 20% poor, 29% fair, 21% good, and 1% excellent.

Nebraska

Exceptional drought is present in the southwestern part of Nebraska at the intersection of Lincoln, Perkins, Chase, and Hayes counties. The D4 area covers about 0.5% of the state.

More than 11% of the state is suffering from extreme drought. Severe drought is present in more than 34% of the state. Over 29% of Nebraska is in moderate drought, while abnormally dry conditions cover more than 13% of the state. The southeast corner, covering about 10% of the state, is free of moisture stress.

Map of Nebraska drought conditions
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

The USDA Crop Progress Report released August 1 showed topsoil moisture conditions across Nebraska were 31% very short, 39% short, 30% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 30% very short, 39% short, and 31% adequate.

The same report indicated corn silking was at 84%, behind the five-year average of 90%. Dough was at 21%, also behind the five-year average of 32%

Corn condition in Nebraska was rated 10% very poor, 12% poor, 24% fair, 40% good, 14% excellent.

Soybeans blooming was 85%, slightly behind the five-year average of 87%. Setting pods was 50%, behind the five-year average of 54%. 

Soybean condition in Nebraska was rated 6% very poor, 11% poor, 26% fair, 44% good, 13% excellent.

Pasture and range conditions were rated 34% very poor, 28% poor, 25% fair, 11% good, 2% excellent.

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