“We need divine intervention.”
That was Governor Spencer Cox recently asking Utahns to pray for rain as exceptional drought conditions grip his state.
Basically, it’s bad. Like, really bad.
But it’s not only the Salt Lake that’s gradually shrinking. Dry weather is gripping nearly the entire West, with ‘exceptional’ drought conditions plaguing huge chunks of the Southwest.
Shrinking reservoirs in California are posing a major threat to crop irrigation, and dry soil conditions are concerning across the Northern Plains.
But the big story is North Dakota.
A soundbite: “We seeded into dry, hard dirt, hoping the seed would lay until it rained, but the rain has never come,” noted Tyler Stafslien, a farmer from Makoti, ND.
With the Peace Garden State enduring ultra-high temps and its lowest amount of moisture in decades, farmers are in a really bad way.
With no hope of a second crop, and very little hope of a harvest at all, some farmers are running cattle out into the fields or simply abandoning what were once their wheat fields.
As it’s still early in the season, most market watchers didn’t expect the drought woes to have much effect on the USDA’s estimates released in yesterday’s WASDE report. But by next month, the impact of the dry conditions will be more evident…
Where this goes: On the bright side, the drought monitor maps did not expand last week. But with mixed reviews as to what Mother Nature has in store for the summer, producers (and the markets) are waiting to see what happens next.