Nearly one-quarter of Wisconsin experiencing moderate drought conditions
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Nearly a quarter of Wisconsin is experiencing moderate drought conditions.
According to the latest drought monitor provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, approximately 23% of the state is experiencing moderate drought conditions, including 29 of the state’s 72 counties.
A moderate drought indicates dry or very dry topsoil.
The regions most impacted include the easternmost counties in the state, from roughly Manitowoc down to the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, as well as the region known as the Driftless Area in southwestern Wisconsin. A swath of drought conditions cuts across from the area around La Crosse in west-central Wisconsin to south-central Wisconsin and Dane County as well, including the state’s capitol, Madison.
According to the United States Drought Monitor operated by the USDA and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are also experiencing moderate drought, as well as nearly the entire lower peninsula of Michigan, in the Midwest. Far-western portions of Iowa and Minnesota are in the severe drought category as well.
Abnormally dry conditions are being experienced by much of the state as well, with over 64% of the state either abnormally dry or in moderate drought.
Some of the historic impacts of the dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, include bans on burning, brown lawns and fields, lower lake levels than normal, an increase in watering landscaping and gardens, and slight impacts to pastures and crops.
At the moderate drought stage, hay prices historically begin to rise, and horse sales begin to increase.
Last week, less than one percent of the state was experiencing moderate drought, with a little over a third of the state, or about 36%, additionally recorded as abnormally dry.
The USDA estimates the affected population in Wisconsin in drought areas to be over 3.1 million, with over 26.4 million in the Midwest currently in a drought area. Conditions in most the nation’s southwest are worse, currently in severe or extreme drought.
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