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Drought conditions still present in thumb and northeast Michigan

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.

Drought conditions in the thumb and northeast Michigan are worsening and it doesn’t look like it’s getting much better.

The moderate drought was only declared a couple weeks ago, but the state has been fairly dry since the end of April.

Meteorologists said the rain we did get at the end of spring typically only lasted a few minutes. That, coupled with sunny days and little cloud cover has made for a brutal summer for crops.

Jeff Lutz is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord. He said while it is supposed to rain this weekend, it won’t be enough to end the drought.

“Not a whole lot of precipitation going on in the extended part of the forecast, going through the rest of this week with it being relatively dry. There is another chance late Wednesday night but even that’s going to be pretty sparse.”

Lutz said crops are going to need water soon if yield loss is to be kept at a minimum.

James DeDecker is a field crops educator with the Michigan State University Extension in Presque Isle County.

“We’re really up against that wall so for corn if we don’t get moisture in the next week and that’s you know significant moisture because we have a major deficit not only in the topsoil but in the subsoil so we’re going to need a lot of rain to turn this around.”


DeDecker said wheat and hay have already suffered yield loss and corn will be next without significant rain. He said soybeans should be able to hold out for a few more weeks.