Map: Drought Development Likely Across Winter Wheat Areas

With winter wheat planting underway, dryness and drought is becoming more apparent across the key US southern Plains region.

Indeed, the latest monthly update of the US seasonal drought outlook (see map below), indicates that drought development is likely across the key Hard Red production states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas through the remainder of the year.

For many of those southern Plains areas not currently experiencing drought, 30-60 day precipitation deficits in the order of 2-4 inches have begun to mount, the outlook said, warning that since the October-December period is typically a dry time of year for the region regardless, it does not bode well for improvement prior to the end of 2021.

The latest weekly US drought monitor on Thursday showed more than half (55%) of Oklahoma was experiencing abnormally dry conditions as of Tuesday, way up from 28% just a week earlier and only 18% at the end of August. Further, an estimated 11% of the state was in some form of drought, compared to 6% a week earlier and 7% at the end of August.

Conditions in the No. 1 winter wheat state of Kansas have generally improved since the end of August, although more than one-third of the state (36%) was still considered abnormally dry as of Tuesday, up slightly from a week earlier. About 6% of Kansas was considered to be in some form of drought as of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the dryness is being aggravated by periods of late-summer heat. The Sept. 10-11 period featured consecutive triple-digit, daily-record highs in parts of Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.

Drought outlook

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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