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Climatologist discusses drought outlook for Midwestern farmers

A climatologist says he’s concerned about drought conditions across parts of the Corn Belt despite some recent precipitation.

Brian Fuchs with the National Drought Mitigation Center says long-term drought signals remain prevalent. “We still are seeing pockets of dryness in southern Missouri into southern Illinois,” he said. “But really the long-term drought issues we’ve been focusing on in the Midwest have been from Wisconsin, through Iowa, into eastern Nebraska, and also into central Kansas.”

He tells Brownfield some parts of the region had better than expected winter moisture and that could help lead to a strong start to the growing season. “Some of these areas did do a pretty good job since last fall of seeing a recharge in those soils,” he said. “They will be better off especially early on in the season. I think those areas that didn’t see good recharge, those are the areas we are most concerned about right now.”

Fuchs says some producers should have a good window to the get the crop in the ground over the next couple of weeks.

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