Image courtesy US Drought Monitor

Crops and Commodities Under Drought Coverage

Some more US crops and commodities are covered in drought, the summary of the end of September US Drought Monitor. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says that occurred throughout the previous month. Despite cooler temperatures in several parts of the country.

We’ve seen a four percentage point increase in drought coverage across the lower 48 states 38% covered by drought that is up from 34% on August 29. And that’s a doubling of the US Drought coverage. Since we hit a three year low of 19% back on May 30.

Flash drought in the eastern Corn Belt and worsen a dryness of the Lower Mississippi Valley are contributors to the latest Drought coverage increase.

We see an increasing array of states reporting the highest levels of drought that extreme to exceptional drought.

Impacted areas include the Pacific Northwest at a stretch of southern tier states from Arizona to Alabama, as well as part of the western Corn Belt. How does this translate into drought coverage over crops and commodities? Rippey starts with a look at corn and soybeans for the period ending September 26, compared to mid-August.

58% of the US corn acreage experiencing drought toward the end of September, up from a recent low of 42% about six weeks ago. Similarly, soybean acreage and drought 55% of the country on September 26, up from 38%, six weeks ago.

For rice and cotton, both Southern Tier crops reported a 41% coverage by drought at September’s end

For cotton, that number was as low as 15% in drought in early July. And for rice 0% of the national acreage was in drought back in May.

With winter wheat planting now underway in much of the nation,

47% of that crop acreage is now in drought as we head to the end of September. It’s nearly steady over the last several weeks. We have pockets of concern in the Northwest parts of the Great Plains and more recently in the soft red winter wheat areas of the lower Midwest.

Finally, a look at hay and cattle producing areas of drought.

US hay acreage and drought 39% in drought that is nearly double from what we saw back in May us cattle inventory and drought in late September 46%. That is up from an annual low of 36% that occurred back in May.