Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Search: drought, weather update

Our Response to the 2012 Drought; SBA Recovery Assistance Available in Rural America

Cross posted from the Small Business Administration Blog:

Today, I attended a meeting of the White House Rural Council, which focused on our coordinated response to historic drought conditions that are affecting communities across Rural America.

Our goal at the SBA and across the Administration is making sure that these hard hit communities have the tools and the resources they need to navigate and recover from these severe drought conditions.

To date, the SBA has issued 71 agency drought declarations in 32 states covering more than 1,630 counties. These declarations allow small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and non-farm small businesses that are economically affected by the drought in their community to apply for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Read more »

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 8/6/12

Agricultural Weather Assessments - U.S. Corn Conditions

Agricultural Weather Assessments - U.S. Corn Conditions

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.

During the week of July 29 – August 4, scattered showers and slightly cooler conditions provided some relief to drought-stressed summer crops—primarily soybeans—in the Corn Belt.  Weekly rainfall totaled an inch or more in numerous Midwestern locations, with at least 2 inches reported in parts of the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys.  Meanwhile in the Southeast, where 2- to 4-inch weekly totals were common, pastures and immature summer crops continued to benefit from widespread showers.  Farther west, however, extreme heat shifted to the southern Plains.  In fact, weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F above normal—and highs topped 110°F—in an area centered on Oklahoma, where recent wildfires charred thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. Read more »

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 8/3/12

Percent of Normal Rainfall, July 1-31, 2012

Percent of Normal Rainfall, July 1-31, 2012

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.

Historically hot, dry conditions covered many of the nation’s key agricultural regions during July.  Preliminary data provided by the National Weather Service indicated that July rainfall totaled less than 50 percent of normal in a broad area stretching from the central and southern Plains into the Mid-South and Midwest.  No measurable rain fell during July in several locations.  Meanwhile, monthly temperatures generally ranged from 4 to 8°F above normal across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest.  It was the hottest July on record in cities such as Rockford, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and La Crosse, Wisconsin, breaking all-time records set in 1921, 1934, and 1936, respectively. Read more »

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 7/30/12

Agricultural Weather Assessment - U.S. Soybean Conditions as of July 29, 2012

Agricultural Weather Assessment - U.S. Soybean Conditions as of July 29, 2012. Click to enlarge image.

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.

Based on weather developments last week (July 22-28), U.S. corn and soybean conditions further declined in today’s USDA/NASS crop condition report.  The most significant crop deterioration occurred across the southern and western Corn Belt, where little or no rainfall accompanied temperatures that averaged 5 to 10°F above normal.  Multiple days of triple-digit (100°F) heat were noted last week in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and on the Great Plains from South Dakota to Texas.  In contrast, there was enough rain (locally 1 to 2 inches or more) across the northern Corn Belt, mainly from the Dakotas to Michigan and Ohio, to help stabilize crop conditions in some fields.  Parts of central and eastern Iowa also received highly beneficial rainfall in excess of an inch.

U.S. soybeans, rated 37% very poor to poor on July 29, 2012, have matched lowest conditions observed during the Drought of 1988.  That year, soybeans rated very poor to poor peaked at 37% on July 10, with a secondary peak of 35% on August 21.  Nearly half (48%) of the U.S. corn was rated very poor to poor on July 29, 2012.  In 1988, corn rated very poor to poor peaked at 53% on August 21.

Weather Outlook:  During the next five days, no appreciable drought relief can be expected across the hardest-hit drought areas of the Plains, Mid-South, or Midwest, although rainfall in isolated locations may exceed an inch.  Significant rainfall (1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts) will be confined to the Southwest and the Southeast.  The northern Corn Belt will continue to experience scattered showers and a reprieve from hot weather, but excessively hot conditions will prevail for the remainder of the week across the central and southern Plains, the Mid-South, and parts of the southern Corn Belt.  In some of the hottest areas across the south-central U.S., high temperatures will continue to approach 110°F.  Late in the week, cooler air will arrive across the northern Plains.

Watch USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey discuss the current agricultural weather outlook on USDA’s YouTube channel.

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 7/26/12

Approximately 73% of the domestic cattle inventory is within an area experiencing drought, based on NASS 2007 Census of Agriculture data.

Approximately 73% of the domestic cattle inventory is within an area experiencing drought, based on NASS 2007 Census of Agriculture data. Click to enlarge map.

During the week ending July 24, 2012, the portion of the contiguous United States in drought inched upward to 64%, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  The Drought of 2012 continues to hit some of the nation’s most important agricultural regions especially hard, with more than seven-eighths of the nation’s corn (89%) and soybeans (88%) considered to be within an area experiencing drought.  In addition, more than one-third of both crops, 37% of the corn and 35% of the soybeans, are currently experiencing the two worst categories of drought – extreme to exceptional – designated by D3 and D4, respectively, on the Drought Monitor. Read more »

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 7/23/12

Data obtained from preliminary National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) weekly crop progress and condition tables.

Data obtained from preliminary National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) weekly crop progress and condition tables. (Click to enlarge image)

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.

During the last week, much-needed rain developed across the northern and eastern Corn Belt and continued in the Southeast, stabilizing or even improving crop and pasture conditions.  In the Midwest, some of the heaviest rain (locally 2 to 4 inches) fell from southern and eastern Wisconsin into Ohio.  Substantial rain (at least 2 inches) also extended into the northern Mid-Atlantic States.  Meanwhile, a second consecutive week of widespread Southeastern showers further revived pastures and aided immature summer crops.  Weekly totals in excess of 4 inches were noted in the central Gulf Coast region and parts of the interior Southeast. Read more »