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Drought conditions improving in Iowa and Illinois

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Areas of severe to exceptional drought are continuing to shrink in Iowa and Illinois, but more precipitation is needed for a full recovery.

The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show all of Iowa is still experiencing at least a moderate drought.  Just over 54% of the state is in severe drought, compared to nearly 91% of the state three months ago.

About half of Iowa was in extreme drought in the first week of November 2012.  That number is now down to just over 32%.

Parts of central and southern Illinois experienced exceptional drought over the summer of 2012, but the USDA says drought conditions there are now gone.

Just over 63% of Illinois now has zero drought, compared to 33% last week and nearly 16% three months ago.  Just over 82% of Illinois had moderate drought conditions in late September 2012, and that number has dropped to just under 17% now.

Illinois counties in and around the Quad Cities remain in a state of abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.  Most of the Illinois counties still experiencing dry or drought conditions are in the northern third of the state and along

Iowa counties in and around the Quad Cities are all still reporting moderate drought conditions.   Central Iowa continues to experience severe drought, and extreme and exceptional drought conditions were reported in western and northwestern areas of the state.