Headlines throughout the media are comparing the intensifying drought we are experiencing to the drought of 1988. Considered the worst drought year in the last century, farmers experienced a national corn yield reduction of 30%. Conditions in southern Minnesota have many wondering if we’ll incur the same kind of losses this year.
Any rain showers that come through our region are short-lived and always hit and miss; after weeks without rain, we had a shower Wednesday afternoon that amounted to 3/10 in. On the Palmer Drought Index, our county is now in the “severe drought” category. That coupled with daily temperatures in the low 90s with no sign of relenting, our crop moisture will remain abnormally dry. Although we’ve been more fortunate in southern Minnesota than other areas along the Corn Belt, many are saying, if we don’t get the moisture we need, 2012 will be remembered with the same harrowing statistics as those of 24 years ago.