Drought monitor shows substantial improvement in one month's tim - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Drought monitor shows substantial improvement in one month's time

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Siouxland has seen substantial improvements in the drought, even in the past month. Siouxland has seen substantial improvements in the drought, even in the past month.

Recent rain and snow may not be improving your mood.

But don't tell farmers that.

Siouxland has seen substantial improvements in the drought, even in the past month.

It seemed like it would never end, but, at least for now, recent rain and snow has lifted some spots in Siouxland out of a massive drought.

"We finally got into an active weather pattern, where there was moisture being brought up into the region and strong storm systems that have tracked across our region," said Brian Fuchs, Climatologist, National Drought Mitigation Center.

The latest drought monitor, released Thursday morning, shows that while most of Siouxland is still in at least a moderate drought, parts of Crawford County are now just considered "abnormally dry," big improvement in just one month.

"Cherokee County, O'Brien County, those counties a little further east, the bottom of that rooting zone was really pretty full in many cases, which is an indicator that we're not only recharging the zone that the corn plants use, we're also recharging that deeper depth," said Joel DeJong, Agronomist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Despite the latest moisture, farmers are still battling cold soil.

Agronomists say that in order for corn to grow, the ground has to be more than 50 degrees.

With a cold Spring thus far, many farmers haven't even started planting.

"We can still think we're looking at 95 to 98 percent yield potential if it's after the 5th of May before we get that crop planted and before about the 20th of May," said DeJong.

And assuming that farmers can plant within the next couple of weeks, there's hope that with favorable rains the drought will continue to improve.

"I don't see any indication right now that we're going to be seeing that trend reverse," said Fuchs.

And this year will see more productivity than the last.

Despite the potential for continued improvement in the drought, climatologists say that the road to recovery will still take a while, especially considering that much of northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota are still in extreme drought.

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