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Drought conditions persist in many top corn growing states

As farmers prepare for planting season around the country, drought conditions persist in many of the top corn growing states. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released March 4, 11% of Midwest acres are in moderate drought. More than half of the High Plains region is in severe drought, and 19% of the region is experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Iowa, the number one corn producing state, faces extreme drought conditions in the northwest part of the state. About 10% of Iowa acres are in severe drought. More than half the Hawkeye state is abnormally dry.

Across the Mississippi River in Illinois, soil moisture is more favorable, but the central part of the state is still abnormally dry. About 4% of the state in the east central region faces moderate drought.

Nearly all of Nebraska faces some moisture stress at this point. About 10 counties in the southwest corner of the state are suffering from extreme drought. About 80% of the Cornhusker state is in moderate drought, or worse.

The entire state of Minnesota is, at least, abnormally dry. About 40% of the state, particularly concentrated in the most northern third, is in moderate drought. According to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, some counties trail average precipitation by as much as 1.31 inches for 2021 so far.

Indiana has fewer drought concerns than many of its fellow top growing states. About 75% of the state recorded no drought conditions as of early March. The 9% of Indiana acres facing moderate drought are concentrated in the northwestern part of the state.

While the southeast region of Kansas is free of drought conditions, about 10% of the state in the northwest corner faces extreme drought conditions. More than half of The Sunflower State is abnormally dry.

Drought conditions are severe in half of South Dakota. Much of the state trails average precipitation by more than 0.5 inches for 2021 so far. For 2% of the state in the southeast corner, the drought has escalated to extreme, or D3 conditions.

Ohio’s moisture situation is more favorable for corn and soybean farmers compared with many other Corn Belt states. About 13% of the state reported abnormally dry conditions concentrated in the northwest corner. The rest of the state has sufficient moisture.

Missouri is also starting off the year with very few moisture stressed areas. Just 2% of the state was abnormally dry in early March.

Abnormally dry conditions in Wisconsin cover about 61% of the state. The east central part of the state trails average precipitation by as much as 1.58 inches so far this year, according to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

Across the Great Lakes, similar conditions are reported in Michigan. About 48% of the state is abnormally dry. Precipitation in 2021 lags behind average precipitation rates by more than 2 inches in many areas.

Out of the top 17 corn growing states, Kentucky was the only state that did not report drought conditions the first week of March.

All of North Dakota is facing moisture shortages, and 69% of the state is in severe drought. So far, precipitation in 2021 trails average precipitation rates statewide.

Despite unusual accumulation of snow in February, more than 80% of Texas is abnormally dry. Just over 5% of The Lone Star state is in exceptional, or D4, drought. So far, drought conditions in 2021 are more severe than last year.

In Tennessee, 4% of the state is abnormally dry, a significant improvement from last week when more than half the state was facing dry conditions. Now, more than 95% of The Volunteer State has sufficient moisture.

Looking north, Pennsylvania reported 3% of the state faces abnormally dry conditions to start the month. While the southeast corner of the state has recorded above average precipitation so far for 2021, the northwest corner trails average rates by as much as 3.21 inches.

Of the top 17 corn growing states, Colorado faces the most severe conditions. Nearly all of Colorado is in moderate drought, or worse. About 16% of The Centennial State is in exceptional drought.

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