How crops are faring in the U.S. as the drought spreads

The latest drought monitor was released today and it shows dry conditions continued to form and spread across a large part of the eastern U.S.

Compared to last week, the eastern half of the map has a lot more color to it, with many parts even reaching moderate drought. Spotty rain and storms occurred in the East, but many areas missed out and high temperatures did not help any. However, early monsoons greatly improved conditions in New Mexico and southern Colorado. Not much changed for the west this week.

The cotton crop is being hit hard by drought in the Southern Plains. A frequent guest on the Market Day Report, Tony St. James, shared some shocking news about how many crops have been abandoned in his area.

“80 to 90% of the dry land is gone. Now on the irrigated side, I talked to a guy earlier this morning who farms along the Texas-New Mexico line. He’s lost over 50% of his irrigated crop.”

St. James said just because cotton is an irrigated crop, does not mean it is safe from prolonged drought. It is getting harder each day to pump enough water onto those crops.

The High Plains region is not seeing any drought relief either. Another friend to the Market Day Report, Lorrie Boyer, says Colorado is experiencing hot, dry weather coupled with strong winds. Boyer was able to catch up with some wheat growers at a Farm Bill hearing who did not have good news to share.

“One of the farmers did comment during the meeting that however many years 30 years I think it was, 29 or 30 years of farming just South of a little town called Wiggins here in Colorado, that this will be the first time in his entire life as a farmer that he won’t even get into the field. He said literally a wheel will not touch the field. He lost all of his wheat just due to the drought, blowing wind, and dry conditions.”

Boyer says the state has lost about 30 percent of the wheat crop this year because of these conditions.


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