U.S. drought nearing record-dry conditions


U.S. drought nearing record-dry conditions

U.S. farmers and ranchers are experiencing the worst drought since 2012.

Kurt Mether grows corn and soybeans along the Missouri River in Iowa and says he hasn’t received significant moisture since the fall. “It’s really dry, and everyone is concerned about that.”

Jay Reiners tells Brownfield the drought is intensifying on his farm in South-Central Nebraska. “I don’t think we’ve had 3 inches of snow all winter.  I think we’re 32 inches behind last year.  I know there is still a lot of time to make it up, but this is getting serious.”

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday showed more than 61 percent of the country is in a classification of drought, the largest percentage since 2012 when the U.S. saw an all-time record of 65 percent in September.

The Nebraska Corn Board Chairman says he’s hopeful Mother Nature will provide relief. “It can change at any time and on a dime and in a month we could be begging for it to stop raining, but you just never know.  I think we have moisture to get the crop up, but we’ll have to have pivots ready to go.”

In the last month, the percentage of drought jumped from 55 percent to more than 61 percent, an increase of nearly 170,000 square miles more than the size of California.

Brownfield interviewed Mether and Reiners at the 2022 Commodity Classic.