DES MOINES, Iowa – Drought conditions are expanding across a large section of the U.S., from California to the Great Plains.
The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska says the area covered by moderate drought or worse expanded by nearly five percentage points to 36.8 percent during March.
The drought monitor shows dry conditions broadened in the Midwest with 22 percent of the U.S. corn production area and 18 percent of the soybean area in some degree of drought. That's up sharply from early March when just 6 percent of the corn growing area and 5 percent of the soybean region were in drought conditions.
Dryness worsened during March in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Two-thirds of California is in extreme to exceptional drought.