Current drought conditions may lead to new records

A study coming from the American Farm Bureau shows the western U.S. drought will have regional impacts.

The survey focused on lower crop yields and herd sell-offs for producers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and eleven other western states.

While some cattle producers had to sell part of their herd due to high hay prices and poor forage conditions, experts say that it will not have an immediate impact on the beef market. But, for those who reported lower yields, there will be long-term noticeable impacts on produce.

The study found that corn and soybeans will not have as much of an impact because Iowa was not hit hard by drought.

While the Hawkeye State missed the most severe dry conditions, the country could soon set a record for how long a big swath of the U.S. is in drought.

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says that we have seen the problem in a very narrow range and explains what it means for the lower 48 states.

According to Rippey, “46-48 percent of the country has been covered by drought each week by mid-June of 2021. So, we’re going on almost five months with that level of drought coverage.”

He says that it has been since last September that the contiguous U.S. has been under drought coverage of 40 percent or more. He believes, given the pattern we are seeing, this period could break old records.


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