Despite recent smatterings of rain, the drought and extreme heat have rendered 55 per cent of America’s pasture and range-land in ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ conditions, according to the latest Drought Monitor report.
The drought has been spreading slowly since early this year and USDA secretary Tom Vilsack has designated 1,369 counties in 31 states as drought disaster areas.
53.44 per cent of the U.S. is in moderate drought or worse according to the July 24 map, up from 53.17 per cent the previous week.
“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,” according to Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and U.S. Drought Monitor author.
“This drought is two-pronged. …Not only the dryness but the heat is playing a big and important role. Even areas that have picked up rain are still suffering because of the heat.”
Here is the latest drought map from U.S. drought monitor:
Photo: US Drought Monitor