Worsening Drought Conditions

October 21, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Drought conditions continue to worsen across many key agricultural areas in rural America. As harvest work ramps up, many farmers are dealing with diminishing topsoil moisture, shortages in water supply, and exceedingly dry pasture conditions.

Southern California is now in its fifth consecutive year of drought, but as USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey notes, it is not the only region of the country that is currently experiencing drought conditions.

“One [drought] covers much of the northeast and the other across the southeast,” he says. Even with recent rain showers in New England and the northeast, Rippey says that, “If you look at New England, we see pasture and rangeland conditions – at least half – rated ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ in Rhode Island, Massachussetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.” Some inland areas of the northeast may benefit from heavy rains that are expected in the coming days.

Concerning the interior southeast, he says, “We see at least half of the pastures rated ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee – Tennessee is at the top of that list at 53 percent.”

Likewise, very low topsoil moisture in parts of the interior southeast is impacting the germination of cover crops and winter grains recently planted.