"U.S. Drought Area Shrinks Slightly: Report"

"Drought conditions in the United States eased slightly over the last week, though dry soils and water shortages persisted across wide swaths of important farm states, particularly Nebraska, a key corn and cattle state."

"Roughly 64.58 percent of the contiguous United States was under at least 'moderate' drought as of October 2, down from 65.45 percent a week earlier, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly compilation of data gathered by federal and academic scientists issued Thursday.

The portion of the United States under 'exceptional' drought - the most dire classification - fell to 6.07 percent, down from 6.12 percent a week earlier.

Conditions remained poor in the High Plains where severe or worse drought levels covered 87.51 percent of the region, up from 83.80 percent the prior week. Nearly 28 percent of the region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado, was in the worst level of drought, dubbed 'exceptional,' up from 24.35 percent a week earlier."

Carey Gillam reports for Reuters October 5, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 10/08/2012