Howard County lands in "exceptional" drought territory
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thursday morning's latest drought update from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows the expansion of drought in Missouri. 25% of Missouri is now in extreme drought status. 5% of the state is now in exceptional drought status, the highest percentage seen since August of 2012.
Howard County has now been in included in an exceptional drought. This is the highest level of drought status the CPC provides.
According to an August 12th USDA report, 45% of the corn crop and 37% of the soybean crop were reported in poor to very poor condition. 76% of the pasture and rangeland in Missouri were in poor to very poor condition. 79% of the topsoil and 80% of the subsoil was reported in short or very short of moisture.
A lack of water supply and hay production has also led to an increase in cattle sales. The National Drought Mitigation Center reports the St. Joseph Stockyards in St. Joseph, MO are seeing sales of 600 heads per week. Typical cattle sales for this time of year are around 50-60 heads per week.
Although the frequency of rainfall events has increased this month to an above-normal rate, August remains below normal on rainfall at the Columbia Regional Airport with 2.04" received through August 15th, a deficit of 1.43".
The latest rainfall CPC precipitation outlook forecasts a normal to above-normal amount of rainfall possible through the end of August.