Worst U.S. drought holds its grip as growers pivot to wheat
ST. LOUIS – The worst U.S. drought in decades showed little sign of easing last week as farmers closed out their corn and soybean harvests and turned their attention to winter wheat, which has been struggling to break through the moisture-starved soil in some states, according to a weekly report.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update Thursday showed that more than 62 percent of the lower 48 states still was in some form of drought as of Tuesday, which was about the same as in the previous seven-day period. Nineteen percent of that land remained in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories.
Recent thunderstorms helped slightly relax the drought’s grip in portions of the nation’s midsection, where the U.S. Department of Agriculture said 87 percent of the corn and 80 percent of the soybean crops now have been brought in from the fields, weeks ahead of scheduled because of an earlier planting season.
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