July 27, Ag Professional – (National) Drought expanding rapidly, now covers 63 percent of U.S.
The week of July 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Drought Monitor to showed the largest 1-week jump in extreme drought growth during the report’s 12-year history. Nationally, drought conditions grew for the 10th consecutive week. More than 63 percent of the contiguous United States were considered in moderate to exceptional drought. Specifically, 1,369 counties across 31 States were declared drought-disaster areas. “We’ve seen tremendous intensification of drought through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska, and into part of Wyoming and South Dakota in the last week,” the author of the Drought Monitor said. The Weather Channel noted that the growth of extreme drought in the country expanded this week by 219,000 miles, an area slightly larger than the States of California and New York combined. The percentage of the continental U.S. in severe to exceptional drought set a new high for the second week straight. The drought, the most severe since the 1950s, is expected to cost at least $12 billion.