Drought in Review: An update on the weekly monitor and how it compares to year’s past

The latest drought monitor was released today and it shows weather conditions varied drastically across the country this past week.

The Gulf Coast and the Southeast regions received heavy rainfall, leading to improvements in long term drought affected areas. However, dry conditions expanded across the Midwest. In southern Michigan and northern Illinois, precipitation deficits are negatively impacting soil moisture and stream flow levels. Not much changed on the map in the Northeast, but the South experienced several tornadoes and extreme winds on Tuesday, which resulted in severe damage and loss of lives.

This week’s report also took a deeper dive into how drought conditions are comparing to year’s past.

The contiguous U.S. experienced its 8th warmest September through October period on record since 1895, in regards to average and maximum temperatures. That is according to a report conducted by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Precipitation during that period ranked 11st driest in history.

This year, drought had a major impact on livestock producers across the globe. One risk management consultant says farmers in his area, including himself, never really recovered from last year’s drought.

“I think that’s what makes us so bullish is because the geographical area basically is the whole western part of the U.S. We had a better year this year, but last year we got hammered by the drought essentially,” StoneX Financial Risk Management Consultant, Kirk Donsbach, says. “No hay. No grass. I personally had to liquidate about 25% but there was up to 100% liquidation in some parts of Montana and that basically stretched from California to Texas to Montana. A huge massive area of liquidation. And no real rebuilding of that since then.”

That video was provided by Tony St. James with All Ag All Day, who spoke with Kirk at the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show in Texas.

Related Stories
Right now, the shipping backlog on the Panama Canal is up to 26 days. That is due to the water system experiencing its driest October in more than 70 years.
USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey discusses ongoing drought-related water storage issues with the Colorado River Basin and low snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada.

LATEST STORIES BY THIS AUTHOR:

Livestock showmen are an important aspect of the pork industry and, of course, should be celebrated on National Pig Day!
The drought along the Mississippi River is over, for now, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
The European Agriculture Commissioner is proposing a policy shift as farmers continue to protest, suggesting an EU-wide change on rules that limit ag production, saying the current laws raise food security risks.
USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says we are heading into spring rather quickly and ahead of schedule, which could have negative implications for small grains and blooming fruit crops.