Ag in the AM: Drought Expands to Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois

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MOLINE, Illinois – Drought conditions have expanded in the Upper Midwest with northern Illinois and northeastern Iowa now listed as being in the midst of a “moderate drought”.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, a service of the U.S. Agriculture Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lists the Quad City area as a region facing “abnormally dry conditions” but not yet officially facing a drought.  Areas just to the north and south are listed as “moderate drought” areas.

Those areas include northern Scott County, northern Rock Island and Henry counties, plus  Jackson, Clinton, and Dubuque counties in Iowa. Add to that much of northern Illinois including Whiteside and Bureau counties to the north and east, and Knox, Warren, and Henderson counties to the south.

:”Showers in the Upper Midwest brought relief to some drought areas,” said Richard Heim of the National Climatic Data Center.

Even so, Heim says “abnormally dry and drought conditions (are) expanding over a large area from Tennessee to Indiana and Illinois.”

The USDA reports a rapid deterioration in pasture and range land condition, with the poor to very poor percentages in several Ohio Valley states jumping 10 to 20% in the past week and 30 to 45% in the past 4 weeks.  As of June 24, nearly half of the farm fields in Illinois (49%) reported soil moisture as poor or very poor. 

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