A Year of Drought: A look back at how weather impacted farmers in 2023

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig is particularly worried about soil moisture as farmers in his state head into the New Year.

Drought has been a top concern for producers across the U.S. all throughout 2023, including those in Iowa.

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This map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows how the year started. In January, 55 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing some level of drought, with the more extreme conditions seen in the Plains and Western regions.

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Now, as the year comes to a close, 70 percent of the same area is facing dry conditions. However, the focus has shifted to the South, Southeast, and Gulf Coast regions.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig is particularly worried about soil moisture in his state as we head into the New Year.

Secretary Naig told Brownfield Ag News that the state has set a record with more than 180 straight weeks of at least abnormal drought. Naig is hopeful the El Niño weather pattern will bring much-needed relief in terms of temperatures and precipitation.

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