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Drought conditions worsen across region, crop production impacted

Drought conditions worsen, again

Drought conditions this past week have been aggravated by extremely hot temperatures throughout the Minot region and much of North Dakota. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor says “another round of blistering heat across the northern Plains further stressed rangeland, pastures, and a variety of summer crops.”

North Dakota, along with much of Wyoming, were especially hit by “worsening drought impacts”, concludes the Drought Monitor. On July 25 the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated topsoil moisture “87% very short to short in North Dakota.”

Furthermore, on July 25, North Dakota’s production of oats was rated at 56% “very poor to poor”, the worst such designation in the United States. North Dakota also received national-leading “very poor to poor” for soybeans at 41% and corn at 39%. North Dakota also led the nation with 85% of rangeland and pastures rated “very poor to poor.”

During the most recent heat wave temperatures on the northern Plains were quite high, such as recent readings in Pierre and Rapid City, South Dakota, of 108 and 107 degrees respectively. In North Dakota the Bismarck area is experiencing its hottest July on record. Minot’s July will also go down as one of the hottest ever.

According to the Drought Monitor, “periodic extreme heat on the northern Plains has greatly aggravated drought impacts”.

Oddly, Minot’s rainfall total for July is 2.50 inches, or 0.07 more than the long-term average. However, unusually hot temperatures have negated any gains brought by increased rainfall in July. Above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall are forecasted for North Dakota through mid-August.

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