As good as conditions have generally been in the American Midwest so far this growing season, things are trending in the opposite direction for the Plains.
As shown on the map below, all the Plains states are enduring at least some level of abnormal dryness or drought, with Kansas and Colorado the worst hit. In fact, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, 22% of the nation’s winter wheat production area was in drought as of Tuesday, up from 12% just five weeks ago.
In the No. 1 Hard Red Winter production state of Kansas, over half of the state is now considered abnormally dry, with more than a quarter (27.5%) in some form of drought. In Colorado, where 41% of the winter wheat crop was rated in poor to very poor condition as of Sunday – easily the worst among all production states – drought is impacting nearly two-thirds of the state.
Farther north, dryness is also spreading and deepening in North Dakota, particularly the western areas. More than 60% of the state was deemed abnormally dry as of Tuesday, while that portion in some form of drought jumped to over 31% from just 16% a week earlier. Almost one-quarter of South Dakota is now also considered abnormally dry, versus only 8% the previous week.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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