Dry in the West, Wet in the East

Rain and snow helped alleviate dry conditions across much of the Northern Plains, but extreme drought conditions worsened inareas not receiving this moisture. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows extreme drought conditions in North Dakota worsening to reflect growing moisture deficits. That extreme drought now covers 76 percent of the state, an increase of six percentage points from the previous week. Sargent and Richland Counties had a slight improvement in dry conditions. In Minnesota, locally heavy rainfall in the last week brought a two-category improvement in dryness across the western side of the state. There is also no more extreme drought in Kittson County.

Extreme Drought Conditions Expand

For another week, drought conditions continue to expand across the Dakotas. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, extreme drought now covers 70 percent of North Dakota, including the west, central and northeastern portions of the state. The remaining portion is in moderate to severe drought. On the flip side, Minnesota’s dry conditions are improving, with much of the state in the abnormally dry to severe drought category. A corner of Kittson County in the northwestern part of the state is in extreme drought. View the latest Drought Monitor.

Dry Conditions Expand in North Dakota

The lack of moisture and warmer than normal temperatures are causing extreme drought conditions to expand across the Dakotas. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, extreme drought now extends from border to border across 29 central and western counties in North Dakota. The remaining portion of North Dakota is in moderate to severe condition.
On the flip side, Minnesota’s dry conditions are improving, with only parts of Kittson, Marshall and Rock counties in severe drought. The western part of Minnesota ranges from abnormally dry to moderately dry.

Drought in Mexico Decreases Production Projections

The U.S. Dry Bean Council August Planting Intentions report confirms that extended drought in Mexico during the critical planting period resulted in an almost 50 percent decrease in bean planting surface. That also means a production drop of over 56 percent against the Mexican Agricultural Secretary’s (SIAP/SADER) projections.
During the critical month of June 2019, precipitation was scarce causing moderate drought in areas in the key dry bean growing states of Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato and Zacatecas, delaying bean planting. July was classified as the driest month in history, according to national records. The lack of rain caused extreme stress in the beans planted in the last week of June, reducing the planting surface. Read more.

Severe Drought Reported in Northern ND

Portions of northern North Dakota have moved into the severe drought. This is the first time this year these counties have been in the D2 or severe drought category. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the northern tier of counties is reporting delayed crop growth, poor pasture conditions and an increase in the culling of cattle herds. The northern half of North Dakota and extreme northwest Minnesota are dealing with abnormally dryness and moderate drought.