Drought conditions vary widely across top corn-growing states

The drought monitor released April 1 indicated growing variance in drought conditions across the top corn-growing states in the 7 day period of March 23 to 30. Areas of extreme drought grew in the Dakotas over the last week. However, now three states – Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee – report no drought stress at all.

In the No. 1 corn-growing state, there was little change over the last week. About 2% of Iowa (in the northwest corner) is still suffering from extreme drought. Overall, 41% of the Hawkeye state is facing abnormal drought stress to some degree. Southeastern couties remained free of moisture stress, according to the March 30 report.

Across the Mississippi River, in Illinois, drought areas shrunk slightly. Abnormally dry conditions were reported in the northeast portion of the state. About 86% of the state is drought-free.

Severe and moderate drought areas stayed the same in Nebraska, covering a combined 23% of the state. The worst conditions continue to be reorted in the southwest corner of the Cornhusker state. Abnormally dry areas saw some relief over the last week and dropped by about 5%.

More than an inch of precipitation brought relief to the east-central part of Minnesota since the previous drought monitor report. About 85% of the state remains abnormally dry, or worse. Nearly 1% of Minnesota, the extreme southwest and northwestern counties, reported severe drought.

Little change in drought conditions was reported for Kansas. Severe drought is present in two northwestern counties and three southwestern counties. All the drought stress is isolated to the western third of the state.

Drought monitor map of South Dakota March 30, 2021
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought conditions quickly intensified in South Dakota over the last week. More than 8% of the state reported extreme drought conditions. The entire state has been suffering from drought stress for more than a month straight.

Ohio's moderate drought acres jumped up 5% over the last week. A span of counties in the northern third of the state reported the moderate drought and abnomally dry conditions. The southern two-thirds of the state continues to have sufficient moisture.

For the second week in a row, Missouri reported no drought conditions.

Precipitation totaling more than 2 inches brought relief to some parts of northwest Wisconsin over the last week. Still, 90% of the state reported abnormally dry conditions in the latest drought monitor report.

Across the Great Lakes in Michigan, drought conditions were relatively unchanged. Moderate drought conditions in the south continue to consume about 17% of the state’s acres.

For the fifth straight week, Kentucky reported no drought conditons.

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

Extreme drought continued to intensify in North Dakota over the last week. It now covers 47% of the state. The entire state is suffering from moderate drought or worse this spring.

Drought stress shrank just slightly in Texas over the last week; 7% of the Lone Star state is still suffering from exceptional drought in the southern and western regions.

Tennessee was the third of the top 17 corn growing states to report no drought conditions.

Pennsylvania drought monitor on March 30, 2021
Photo credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

Abnormally dry conditions jumped up by 9% over the last week to cover 16% of Pennsylvania. Another 9% of the state in the northwest corner reported moderate drought.

Little changed in Colorado over the last week where 100% of the state is still reporting abnormally dry, or worse, conditions. Exceptional drought still covers about 15% of the state.

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