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Drought Monitor: IL Dry Weather Causes Soil Crusting
USAgNet - 06/02/2023

According to Thursday's Drought Monitor report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), some rain fell at the northwest and southeast ends of the Midwest region this week, but most of the region received no precipitation.

The Southeast’s cutoff low dropped 2 inches of rain over extreme eastern Kentucky, while thunderstorms gave parts of Minnesota up to an inch of rain.

But the story for the Midwest was continued drying of soils, low streamflow, and mounting precipitation deficits over the last 1 to 3 months.

Reports have been received in Indiana of lawns in yards becoming stressed and going dormant, pond levels dropping, some stress in pastures, and mesonet stations reporting soils becoming drier.

In Illinois, there were reports of dry/dormant lawns, cracked soil, visibly stressed young trees and shrubs, and unusually low stream and pond levels; corn and beans were doing okay for now, but there were more widespread emergence issues developing from soil crusting.

D0 expanded across most of the region; D1 grew in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri; D2 (severe drought) expanded in Iowa and Missouri; and D3 grew in Missouri. Soils rapidly dried across the Midwest.

As of May 28, USDA data revealed more than half of the topsoil moisture was short or very short in Iowa (50%), Missouri (62%), and Michigan (68%), and 40% or more was short or very short in Wisconsin (45%), Ohio (45%), Illinois (42%), and Indiana (40%).

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