Midwest could face tough growing season

Southeast Kansas rated abnormally dry


State News

March 15, 2024 - 3:24 PM

Although Southeast Kansas could use some good soakers, southwest Kansas is enjoying above average soil moisture.

As planting season approaches for farmers across the Midwest, large parts of many states are still in a drought.

The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the upper Mississippi River from Minnesota to Missouri is surrounded by moderate to severe drought conditions, with a portion of northeast Iowa in extreme drought. Some parts of the Midwest have been dealing with drought since mid-2020.

Although winter rainfall improved conditions in some parts of the region, the outlook is still challenging for Midwest farmers. While warm temperatures made it easier for the ground to absorb water, it also made it easier for water to evaporate from the soil after snow or rain. Now, dryness concerns are starting to pop up throughout the corn belt, said Dennis Todey, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Midwest Climate Hub.