The worst drought in fifty years appears to be intensifying, with farmers in the most important farm states reporting significantly worsening conditions.
For the past several months, much of the nation has been in the grip of a severe drought, one that stretches from California to Indiana. So far, more than 11,000 counties across the country have been declared disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, leading many farmers to worry about the future of the American agricultural industry. The drought comes at a particularly bad time for many farmers, who had planned to harvest the biggest corn crop in recent history this summer.
While some states reported light scatterings of rain, it was not enough to reverse the worsening drought conditions. Meteorologists are predicting a sharp increase in drought conditions in the coming weeks. A buildup of heat is expected next week across the Midwest, Southern states like Texas and Oklahoma (both of which are barely recovered from last year’s drought) are expected to face worsening conditions, and temperatures are predicted to increase by up to 10 degrees in major farm states like Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois.
According to the National Drought Mitigation Service, “The region continues to be impacted not only by oppressive heat, but also by depleted soil moisture, desiccated pastures and widespread crop damages, livestock culling and elevated fire risk.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer