Rains Continue in Midwest; Drought a Concern in Other Areas

The Midwest continues to be pummeled by storms as drought is creeping in elsewhere.

Heavy rains throughout the Midwest this past week brought flooding and threats to dams and levees from rising water. It also prevented farmers from planting and in some cases replanting crops.

"We are not quite to the point where we are saying it's 1993 all over again," says USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. "But with this rain just continuing incessantly, week after week, we have reached a point where we are obviously taking a big toll on summer crops in large parts of the Midwest."

This week's crop report showed a reduction in the corn crop because of the cold wet conditions throughout the Corn Belt. But while too much rain is the problem in the Midwest, lack of it is the problem elsewhere.

"There are some areas that can't seem to buy a drop of rain," Rippey says. "One of those is southern half of the High Plains. It's too late now for winter wheat at this point, but for summer crops folks who can irrigate are irrigating heavily."

Areas without irrigation are facing severe drought conditions as is the Southeast part of the country.
"We've seen a bit of a disheartening turn toward drier conditions across the Deep South all the way from southern Texas stretching eastward through the Carolinas down through Florida," Rippey says.

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