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.


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.


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.

Related Stories
Global food prices inched upward for the third consecutive month according to the latest FAO Food Price Index. While some Americans struggle to source their next meal, others are ordering high-priced food delivery straight to their door more than ever before.
After years of drought, farmers across U.S. farm country are getting so much rainfall that it’s dampening their spring planting progress later into the season.


Cattle producers recently promoted U.S. beef on a trip to Japan and Korea with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
According to USDA experts, Brazil and Argentina’s large drop in corn production has more to do with the economics of corn markets than impacts from weather.
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, no part of Iowa is experiencing extreme levels of drought for the first time in nearly two years.
Now that the EPA is allowing some states to purchase E15 biofuel during the summer, lawmakers and regulators are touting