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U.S. Drought Expands for 6th Consecutive Week

Posted by feww on July 26, 2013

Drought and dry conditions expand in the U.S. South, West, Midwest and High Plains

The areas in contiguous U.S.  that are covered by ‘Abnormally Dry’ thru ‘Exceptional Drought’ (D0 – D4 on the Drought Monitor scale) have expanded to 58.30 percent for the week ending July 23, 2013, up from 54.39 percent a week earlier.

Abnormally dry areas in the U.S. Midwest, including the top crop state of Iowa, reached 18.94 percent, up from 7.16 percent.

Iowa has experienced a triple fold increase in the areas covered by abnormally dry condition, reaching 62.9 percent, compared to 19.8 percent earlier.

Dry conditions have also expanded in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota and Missouri.

Five additional Montana counties have been designated as agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the expanding drought.

us drought map 23jul2013
US Drought Map as of July 23, 2013, released by US Drought Monitor on  July 25, 2013.

About 64 percent of the topsoil in Arkansas was rated short or very short of moisture, with 24 percent of the state’s pasture and rangeland in poor or very poor condition.

California had 95 percent of its pasture and rangeland in poor or very poor condition. Colorado 64 percent, Kansas 55 percent, Texas 44 percent and Arizona had 79 percent so rated, according to July 22 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report.

“Missouri had 60 percent of the topsoil short or very short of moisture, and Iowa had 57 percent so rated, which was a jump of 22 percent since last week.”

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