National Drought Mitigation Center: Drought eases in farm belt, but not over yet
DES MOINES (AP) — With the farm belt’s soil recharged by melted snow and spring rains, farmers are anxious to start working the fields and planting seed for the 2013 crop season.
Above-average snow cover and a chilly, wet spring have helped restore moisture to many states burdened by last year’s drought, which has eased large portions of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Portions of drought-stricken Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska have seen some rain, but many counties remain woefully dry.
“The issue is now that we’ve got some good moisture in the top part of the soil, how is that getting into the subsoil which is very important for corn because corn does go down deep and tap into a deep moisture source,” said Mike Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.
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