The Drought Impact Reporter

By Michelle Proctor, Senior Information Specialist, and Pat Guinan, Extension/State Climatologist, University of Missouri

Pat Guinan, University of Missouri Extension climatologist with the Commercial Agriculture Program, encourages people to use the Drought Impact Reporter (DIR) as a way to inform decision makers of drought related impacts experienced across their state. The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) in Lincoln, Nebraska has rolled out newer versions of the online tool over the past few years.

“By contributing information via, we can provide additional impact reports to the Drought Monitor authors, who will then use the information in their weekly drought depiction process,” said Guinan. Continue reading

Water Chat

Water is an extremely valuable input in agriculture, whether delivered through rain, snow or irrigation. This fact was made very apparent during the kickoff presentation at the recent Iowa Water Conference.  In his presentation Water Issues in the Developing World, Dick Schultz (Iowa State University) detailed the different sources of water in our world.  While it seems that there is “water, water, everywhere”, only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, the balance resides in the oceans.

Of that fresh water, 69% is in glaciers, 30% is groundwater, 0.3% lakes, 0.06% soil moisture, 0.04% in the atmosphere, 0.06% in rivers and 0.003% in the biosphere.  He went on to point out that 50% of the fresh water is in 6 areas: Canada, Russia, Tibet, Columbia, Brazil and Indonesia. freshwatersources

Water has been a hot topic in the US news with stories of the California drought, an extremely snowy winter in the east and nutrient reduction strategies in the Midwest.  A quick look at the Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions extend from California to Illinois. Continue reading

Drought issues returning


The most recent US Drought Monitor map shows drought returning to larger parts of the Corn Belt in the last few weeks. This has been driven by warm temperatures over the last part of August. Dryness has existed across parts of IA, MN and SD over the middle part of the summer. But cool temperatures during that same period had reduced the stress on crops. With the return of warm temperatures in the latter part of August, the dry areas began showing stress quickly.

Areas of Iowa and Missouri have degraded to D2-Severe Drought with surrounding areas of SD, MN, and IA with D1 – Moderate Drought.

In some ways the heat in the latter part of August was welcomed in pushing crops along to development. But the extended period of heat without moisture is stressing crops, pushing some to early maturity and browning.

Large parts of the central part of the corn belt are watching for freezing conditions because of the late development. We will post more about that as information becomes available.