SC Commissioner Weathers: Drought

The latest Drought Monitor map reflects what every South Carolina farmer already knows: We’re in a drought. Here to talk about it is Commissioner Hugh Weathers.

The latest US Drought Monitor map, released July 3, has 71% of the state in the Moderate Drought category. Just two weeks earlier, only a small fraction of the state was in Moderate Drought.

Roughly 17% of the state is in the Severe Drought category.

All parts of the state are experiencing some degree of abnormal dryness.

We’ve received some rain over the past week, but a lot of damage has already been done.

Corn in particular is hurting, especially dryland corn. From the most recent USDA NASS Crop Progress report: Corn in the Lowcountry was reported to be mostly burned up and the Pee Dee region was experiencing early tasseling.

The drought has also delayed soybean planting, and worsened conditions for livestock.

Each week, the South Carolina State Climate Office provides input to the United States Drought Monitor (USDM) and helps to make the weekly US drought map as accurate as possible.

Agricultural reports are a key part of that. Agriculture often shows the earliest effects of drought.

Make sure to keep your Clemson Extension agent posted on conditions, or let our office know. Accurate reports are essential to disaster declaration and government assistance.