WIUM Tristates Public Radio

drought

UNITED STATES DROUGHT MONITOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

Even with recent rains across the region, scientists say expanses across the Midwest and High Plains remain in a long-haul drought.

Much of the Great Plains is experiencing drought: So far, at least half of Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa, and Oklahoma are abnormally dry, with large areas experiencing severe drought.

Western Illinois might be close to the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, but it’s the driest part of the state this year.

“We really haven’t really had any measurable rain since the middle of October,” says Ken Schafer, who farms winter wheat, corn and soybeans in Jerseyville, north of St. Louis. “I dug some post-holes this winter, and it's just dust.”

Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

President Obama announced at the United Nations Climate Summit last Tuesday that part of the U.S. action plan on climate change will focus on the U.S. agriculture industry.

Sellers Squeezed by High Price of Popcorn

Dec 17, 2013
Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory.

SE IA Still Recovering from 2012 Drought

Nov 1, 2013
Iowa DNR

Most of Iowa, including the southeast part of the state, is still recovering from the effects of last year’s drought.

USDA Issues Harvest Reports Again

Oct 22, 2013
SSS

This is the first week since the partial government shutdown that the USDA has issued its regular update on the fall harvest.

The Effects of Crop Insurance in 2012 Drought

Oct 17, 2013
SSS

Drought hit Illinois farmers hard last year,  though many of those farmers had federally subsidized crop insurance that helped them cope.

Drought Monitor Sill Active Amid Shutdown

Oct 4, 2013
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Despite a partial shutdown of the federal government, the U.S. Drought Monitor Map is still online, and being updated.

Rain Window Closing for Soybeans

Sep 16, 2013
SSS

Drought conditions became worse in the Tri-States in recent weeks  even as some areas got much needed rain, and an agronomist with University of Illinois Extension warns rain will only do crops some good for a few more days.

Tri-States in Severe Drought

Sep 9, 2013
Alix Carpenter, Agronomy Specialist University of Missouri Extension – Marion County

This week saw Southeast Iowa move from moderate to severe drought conditions, but dry conditions are getting worse across the Tri-States.

USDA Recommends New Practice to Combat Drought

Aug 27, 2013
Purdue University

The USDA wants farmers to use a new conservation practice to help control the water levels in their fields.

70% of Iowa Abnormally Dry

Aug 7, 2013
USDA

The latest USDA drought monitor map shows that 70 percent of Iowa is abnormally dry. That includes all of Des Moines, Henry and Lee counties.

Bill to Help Mississippi River Adapt to Drought

Mar 20, 2013
http://greenbusinessmatters.com/

US Senator Dick Durbin of  Illinois recently introduced a bill to help the nation prepare to deal with the effects of future droughts on the Mississippi river.

Drought Hit Western IL Crops Unevenly

Mar 5, 2013
ag.purdue.edu

Recently released numbers by the USDA show that the drought affected crop yields last hear differently across Western Illinois.

Corn yields in McDonough and Mason counties were down thirty bushels per acre from last year.  Adams and Pike County were down 60 bushels while Mercer County was actually up twenty.

Sensor Network to Provide IA Drought Data

Feb 18, 2013
ISU Extension

During last summer’s drought it was difficult for farmers to get accurate data on how dry the soil was. An Iowa State University project that’s been in the works for several years, will change that.

IL Deer Harvest Largely Unaffected by Drought

Jan 28, 2013
doublearrowhunting.com

One thing the ongoing drought did not seem to affect was the number of deer in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said hunters killed nearly 181-thousand deer, only one thousand less than one year ago.

How Bad was the Drought for IL Farmers in 2012?

Jan 15, 2013
ag.purdue.edu

It was fairly obvious  that the drought hit farmers hard this year, but how hard?
For Illinois, both corn and soybean yield were below expectations for 2012.  But Angie Peltier with the Monmouth office of University of Illinois Extension says soybeans fared much better than corn.

Cities Experiencing Water Main Breaks

Jan 10, 2013

Cities throughout the Tri-State region are seeing an increase in broken water lines.

USDA

Even though it's sometimes referred to as “this summer’s drought," Western Illinois is still in drought conditions.

The most recent USDA Drought Monitor Map lists the region as being in moderate drought.

Non-Profit Helps Those Needing Water

Dec 11, 2012

Non-profits help those in the region who are in need of food.  Now because of the drought, an increasing number of people need help getting access to water as well.

Drought Exposing Problems in the Mississippi

Dec 7, 2012
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/

The Illinois Corn Growers Association is calling for immediate action to keep the traffic moving on the Mississippi river.
The river has dropped because of this summer’s drought.  The group said that this is exposing underwater obstacles which are preventing barges from transporting goods along the river.

http://greenbusinessmatters.com/

The lower Mississippi River may soon experience record low levels last seen in the 1930’s.  That’s according to the Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for the Lock and Damn system which keeps the upper Mississippi navigable despite the drought.

Phil Weiss

This year's drought has taken a toll on a crop that gets more attention this time of year: Christmas trees.  But one expert says it has not affected sales.

"There is no shortage of trees, there's plenty to be had and the price hasn't gone up. What has gone up is basically based on inflation- nothing more. At least that's been my experience with people I've talked to in the industry," said David Daniken of the Illinois Christmas Tree Association.

Daniken works on a tree farm in Pocahontas, which is 40 miles east of St. Louis.

EPA Will Not Lower Ethanol Mandate

Nov 19, 2012
Discovery.com

This year’s drought caused several governor’s as well as various livestock and poultry groups to petition the Environmental Protection Agency to wave a federal rule mandating the production of a certain amount of ethanol.

Rich Egger

This summer's drought created some unexpected problems for the Macomb Public Works Department. Operations Manager Jason Bainter said the dry conditions caused an unusually high number of water main breaks.

“The largest one we had was out on Bower Road. I believe that the ground shrinking pulled the fittings on the water main apart,” Bainter said.

Rain Could Help SE Iowa Soybeans

Sep 4, 2012

The rainfall from Hurricane Isaac is both good and bad news for southeast Iowa farmers.

In The Tri States

Sep 1, 2012

A look back at the top stories and features from the Tri States Public Radio news department from August 2012.

During the month, State Senator John Sullivan of Rushville announced he would take a brief leave to be treated for a rare form of cancer, voters went to the polls in Burlington and in northeast Missouri, and Bushnell's mayor announced he would not run for another term.

Rich Egger

This summer's combination of high temperatures and little precipitation has impacted just about every type of farmer. Nonetheless, some are finding ways to get by.

John Curtis, owner and operator of Barefoot Gardens, said he's dug a deeper well to come up with enough water for his crops. However, he's also had to contend with a problem pump.

“Sometimes I have water, sometimes I don't. When I don't, it really shows quickly,” Curtis said.

He had to conserve water until he deepened the well.

Rich Egger

All counties in Illinois have  been designated as “primary disaster areas” due to drought.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the designations came at the request of Governor Pat Quinn and  because of a national drought monitor that shows lack of rain plaguing the entire state. All counties have been affected by drought  for  at least the past eight weeks.

The designations mean all Illinois farmers are eligible for emergency loans from the federal government.

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