Indiana drought conditions best since mid-June
The severe drought conditions that troubled Indiana through the summer have largely dissipated, with a federal report showing the state's dryness in its best condition since mid-June.
The U.S. Drought Monitor's weekly report released Thursday listed about 15 percent of Indiana in severe drought, mostly in the state's southeastern corner. About one-quarter of the state was classified in that condition last week
None of Indiana is listed in the more serious categories of extreme or exceptional drought. About two-thirds of the state was listed in those levels at the drought's peak in early August.
September's rain helped much of the state recover from the summer drought, although central Indiana is still 1.71" below average for the year. Central Indiana is 5.03" above average since September 1st.
Meantime, the weekly drought report shows that conditions have worsened in some key Midwest farming states where the corn harvest is more than halfway completed.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that 75 percent of Iowa, the nation's biggest corn producer, is enduring extreme or exceptional drought, which are the two worst classifications. That's up roughly 10 percentage points from the previous week.
The worse conditions won't make much difference to Iowa's already withered corn crop but it could affect crops such as winter wheat.
Nearly 98 percent of neighboring Nebraska still falls into the two most severe drought categories.
Overall drought conditions in the lower 48 states remained relatively unchanged.
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