National Drought Mitigation Center


USDA analysis of crops in drought, based on the Sept. 18 U.S. Drought Monitor

September 20, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture compared areas in drought according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map with areas planted in various crops to determine that:

  • Crops and cattle in drought continued to rise.  Overall, drought has shifted toward the north and west in recent weeks.
  • U.S. corn in drought stands at 85 percent, up a percentage point from a week ago.  The corn harvest is underway, 26 percent complete nationally by September 16.
  • Soybeans in drought also rose a point – to 82 percent.  The soybean harvest has accelerated, and stood at 10 percent complete nationally as of September 16.
  • Hay in drought likewise rose 1 point to 67 percent, eclipsing the 66 percent high set on July 17 and 24.
  • Cattle in drought reached a new high, rising 1 point to 75 percent.
  • Winter wheat in drought was added last week, as planting is underway (11 percent complete).  Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of winter wheat areas are in drought.
  • Due to expansion of drought in the nation’s mid-section, contiguous U.S. drought coverage reached a record-high 64.82 percent on September 18, eclipsing last week’s mark of 64.16 percent. The former record of 63.86 percent had been set earlier in the summer on July 24.
  • The forecast features little if any rain over the next five to seven days in most of the severe-to extreme drought areas, particularly the Great Plains.

See supporting pdf.

-- From Eric D. Luebehusen, meteorologist, World Agricultural Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture