Areas of extreme drought decreasing in Iowa and Illinois

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Recent rainfall is slowly helping to reduce the amount of land experiencing extreme drought in Iowa and Illinois.

The U.S. Drought Monitor report published Thursday, August 16, 2012 shows 100% of Iowa is still experiencing drought conditions.   The area experiencing extreme drought dropped from 69.14% of the state to 62.05%.

In Illinois, the improvement was much smaller.  The entire state is still experiencing some level of drought with minor improvements.  Exceptional drought was reported in 8.38% of Illinois last week and in 8.20% of the state as of August 16.  Extreme drought affected 81.18% of Illinois last week and 79.54% this week; and severe drought was reported in 94.10% of the state last week compared to 93.93% this week.

“As of last week, 87% of the U.S. corn crop, 85% of soybeans, 63% of hay, and 72% of cattle areas were experiencing drought.  Over half of the corn and soybean areas are experiencing Extreme (D3) to Exceptional (D4) Drought.  This has led to both reduced yields and earlier harvests,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor website

A break in the extreme summer heat has also helped conditions to improve.