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Drought Monitor shows worsening conditions across Corn Belt states

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s (USDM) latest report indicates drought conditions are intensifying across much of the Corn Belt.

Climatologist Curtis Riganti with the National Drought Mitigation Center tells Brownfield this week’s report shows expansion of moderate and severe drought southward across Iowa and “extreme drought developing in the Chicago-land area, a little bit of moderate drought around St. Louis now and then we saw an expansion of severe drought further south into lower Michigan, more moderate drought expanding northward into Wisconsin and Minnesota.”

He says conditions are similar to what many producers experienced in 2012. “Except that the focus of the drought right now is shifting north into the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains whereas in 2012 this time of year the focus of the drought was more across Kansas, Missouri and Western Nebraska as it was spreading north and eastward.”

He says the National Storm Prediction Center is forecasting the potential for good news in those parts of the U.S. “The outlook from June 22 through 26 is encouraging for some of those areas particularly around northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and eastern Iowa.  The forecast favors chances of above normal precipitation and the chances are favorable for below normal temperatures.”

The USDM shows condition improvements recorded across parts of West Virginia, Virginia and the Carolinas, where heavy rains fell.

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