Government Forecasters Say Drought is Easing

Rainfall continues to alleviate the drought in eastern parts of the U.S. farm belt, but areas further west are still struggling with extreme drought.

In the Midwest region from Minnesota to Kentucky, 14.1% of the region was in some level of drought, down form 51.4% three months ago.  Continued rains and snow have replenished soils but rains have been so persistent in some areas that many farmers are now worried about planting delays.

Conditions are worse in the High Plains region from the Dakota to Colorado.  The Drought Monitor showed 85% of that region in some level of drought, down from 86.4% a week ago.  Exceptional drought persisted in 8% of the region , up for 7.3% the prior week.

The latest results don’t account for a snowstorm that hammered parts of the Midwest on Thursday.