The updated Drought Monitor from the National Weather Service shows that there was a slight improvement in conditions in Minnesota last week. Just under 62% of the state is experiencing at least moderate drought, while those areas rated as being in a moderate drought cover about a quarter of Minnesota. The majority of the local area, including Brown, Nicollet, Sibley, McLeod, Redwood and Watonwan Counties and to the west is under Moderate Drought conditions, while much of Southern Minnesota from Blue Earth County to the east is rated Abnormally Dry. A year ago at this time, over 95% of the state was experiencing moderate to severe drought.
The pace of Minnesota’s corn harvest remains ahead of normal, thanks to the recent stretch of dry weather. In its weekly crop report, the US Department of Agriculture said Monday that Minnesota’s corn harvest is now 94% complete, remaining a week ahead of the 5-year average. Minnesota’s soybean harvest is 86% complete, still behind the normal pace of 89%. Last year, both Minnesota’s corn and soybean harvests were complete by now.