"U.S. Spring Crop Season Jeopardized as Drought Persists"

"The unrelenting drought gripping key farming states in the U.S. Plains shows no signs of abating, and it will take a deluge of snow or rain to restore critical moisture to farmland before spring planting of new crops, a climate expert said on Thursday."

"'It's not a pretty picture,' said climatologist Mark Svoboda of the University of Nebraska's Drought Mitigation Center.

Precipitation in the Plains region has been 3-6 inches shy of normal levels since October, and some areas are nearly 16 inches short of much-needed moisture over the last nine months, said Svoboda.

The drought that last year ranked as the worst in roughly 50 years is still entrenched in the nation's mid-section. This month was considered the worst January in terms of drought over the 13 years that a consortium of federal and state climatology experts have been monitoring drought levels and issuing regular 'Drought Monitor' reports, said Svoboda."

Carey Gillam reports for Reuters February 1, 2013.
 

Friday, February 1, 2013