Most parts of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and northern Iowa, all of which have experienced continuing drought conditions, didn’t get much in the way of relief, she said.
“That soil moisture percentage has really dropped,” she said.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, July 15, noted that small improvements were reported in certain parts of the region in instances where heavy rain fell, including parts of eastern South Dakota, northeastern Nebraska, and some areas of Montana. But given that the rains were spotty, the overall picture in many states continues to deteriorate.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz requested U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday, particularly for livestock producers. Walz’s letter to Vilsack was in support of an implementation plan to allow emergency haying and grazing on eligible Conservation Reserve Program acres in Minnesota counties experiencing severe drought or greater drought conditions.
“The urgency of this request cannot be overstated. The quality of forage on CRP lands continues to deteriorate under drought conditions and delaying access until Aug. 1 will eliminate the advantages of the resource,” the letter said. “If producers cannot get quality feed to