Commodities in Drought: More on the shrinking levels we haven’t seen in years

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor revealed not only contracting drought coverage across the nation, but also shrinking levels we haven’t seen in years.

And that is ringing true for many of the country’s top commodities. USDA Meteorologist, Brad Rippey, breaks down the numbers.

“Coverage of the corn production area in drought for the U.S. is just 19% at the end of April, down five points from the beginning of the month, pretty much the same with soybeans, 17% drought coverage, soybean production area at the end of April, down also five points from the beginning of the month. And then as we shift to the South, news for the cotton belt at this time just 8% of the U.S. cotton belt in drought at the end of April. No change from the beginning of the month our current. For for the U.S. hay production area in drought is just 12% at the end of April. That’s down two points from the beginning of April and also down from last autumn’s peak of 42% of the hay production area and drought.”
Brad Rippey, USDA Meteorologist

It’s a very similar picture for cattle producing areas. Just 17% of the U.S. cattle inventory is in drought. That’s up slightly from April where we saw 13%, but this is a major improvement from last fall when almost half of the nation’s herd was in a drought.


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