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Tri-States in Severe Drought

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.

The USDA Drought Monitor map has portions of all three of the Tri-States as in "severe drought" conditions.

Alix Carpenter is an Agronomy Specialist with University of Missouri Extension said soybeans are in a critical stage and if they can get rain in the next seven to ten days the crop can be saved.

She said though that the damage had already been done to the corn crop.

"A lot of the corn is prematurely senescencing so we're not going to see those kernels fill any more even if we do get copious amounts of rain," Carpenter said.

She said while its hard to say at this point how much the corn yield has been hurt in terms of bushels per acres, Carpenter gauged the damage as moderate.

She said until recently the area around the Mississippi was doing better than the interior of Missouri, but now the worst of the dry conditions are migrating eastward.

Most of Clark and Lewis counties in Missouri are in severe drought, as well as almost all of Lee and Louisa counties and all of Des Moines County in Iowa, plus large portions in Hancock and Henderson counties in Illinois.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.