Drought Monitor shows drought deepening in central Minn.
WILLMAR — The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows that the driest portion of Minnesota is in the central portion of the state, including Kandiyohi County.
The northern two-thirds of Kandiyohi County, along with portions of Swift, Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Wright counties and all of Meeker County are now considered in a severe drought.
Most of the remainder of the agricultural portions of the state are either rated as in moderate drought or as abnormally dry, according to the monitor. The portions of the state that are not dry include the northernmost counties of the state and an area around Grand Rapids.
According to the crop and weather report issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average temperature last week was 76.7. degrees, which is 11.8 degrees above normal. As of Sept. 1, only 8 percent of the state's corn crop was rated in excellent condition, with 45 percent in good condition and 33 percent in fair condition. Soybeans rate similarly, with 7 percent excellent, 45 percent good and 34 percent fair. Sugar beets were 7 percent excellent, 59 percent good and 26 percent fair.
The soil moisture levels were rated as 24 percent very short, 42 percent short and 34 percent adequate for topsoil and 18 percent very short, 43 percent short and 39 percent adequate.
The precipitation and temperature data collected for Willmar show a 2.31-inch deficit since April 1; however, some data is missing from the data set.
— Staff reports