Drought conditions are continuing to create issues for farmers throughout the central and mid-west states according to the latest data issued by climatology experts, reports Reuters.
Extending the nation's worst drought in a half-century, one hundred percent of Kansas is now battling "severe" drought conditions, jumping from just under 99.5 percent in a week's time; and more than 75 percent of the state's farmland is facing "extreme drought" conditions, the second highest level of drought severity behind "exceptional."
Nebraska is also facing extreme drought in more than 96 percent of the state, and more than 90 percent of Oklahoma is also battling extreme conditions, while Texas jumped from 27.40 percent to 32 percent. In total, severe drought is now affecting more than 42 percent of the contiguous U.S. and nearly 62 percent of the nation is battling at least "moderate" drought conditions.
The USDA reports that the drought conditions have already begun affecting the nation's wheat crops, which grow from South Dakota all the way down to Texas, stretching through the country's hardest hit areas. Illinois has reported that more than 70 percent of its corn and close to 60 percent of its soy crops are in poor or very poor conditions.
The government has already offered financial relief for some farmers and opened up National refuge land for livestock grazing, but food and gas prices are expected to rise (much of the U.S. corn goes into ethanol production), particularly for grains including corn and wheat, as well as soybeans.
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Image: Andrew Stawarz