USDA Meteorologist: If you’re looking for good news regarding drought, head to the South

Drought is taking its toll on many parts of U.S. farm country. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says while some areas have seen more moisture in recent weeks, one area has seen more than the rest.

“If you’re looking for some good news, head to the south. That’s where it’s a little wetter. So, for example, U.S. cotton production area and drought, the current number on July 4th, is just 18%, that’s down from almost half of the production area as recently as late winter and very early spring back on March 28th. So even with some lingering drought in Texas, mostly good news for U.S. cotton. Looking at us hay production area and drought, the current number is 31%. That’s not too bad compared to what we’ve seen in recent years, but it is up from a recent minimum of 20% several weeks in mid to late May. And then U.S. cattle inventory and drought, the current number is 41%, better than some of our recent years, but a little higher than we’d like to see. And also up a little bit over the last several weeks from a main minimum of 36% of U.S. cattle inventory in drought.”

The National Ag Statistics Service will give a better idea of how drought is affecting the national herd on July 21st when they release their monthly Cattle on Feed report.