Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 8/16/12
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, dated August 14, indicates that some drought-affected areas of the United States have begun to turn the corner with respect to the historic drought of 2012. During the seven-day period ending August 14, conterminous U.S. drought coverage fell to 61.8%, down from a July 24 peak of 63.9%. Continental U.S. coverage of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4), the two worst drought categories, dipped to 23.7%, less than one-half of a percentage point below last week’s peak. However, U.S. exceptional drought (D4) coverage actually rose in the last week, from 4.2 to 6.3%, on the strength of worsening conditions in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. In fact, Missouri leads the nation—according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service—in very poor to poor ratings for pastures (98% VP to P), corn (84%), and soybeans (75%).
NOAA Monthly Climate Webinar: August 2012
Experts look back at July, make predictions for the next three months, and review the drought impacts in the Midwest
Don’t Waste The Drought, (NY Times OpEd, 8/16/2012)
WE’RE in the worst drought in the United States since the 1950s, and we’re wasting it.
For decades, Americans have typically handled drought the same way. We are asked to limit lawn-watering and car-washing, to fully load dishwashers and washing machines before running them, to turn off the tap while brushing our teeth. When the rain comes, we all go back to our old water habits.
But just as the oil crisis of the 1970s spurred advances in fuel efficiency, so should the Drought of 2012 inspire efforts to reduce water consumption.
Drought and Health CDC
The health implications of drought are numerous and far reaching. Some drought-related health effects are experienced in the short-term and can be directly observed and measured. However, the slow rise or chronic nature of drought can result in longer term, indirect health implications that are not always easy to anticipate or monitor.
Indiana Drought Watch
This map (from USGS's National Drought Watch Web site) shows the 7-day average streamflow conditions in hydrologic units. Thus, the map shows conditions adjusted for this time of the year. The colors represent 7-day average streamflow percentiles for the day of the year. USGS sites having at least 30 years of record are used. The data used to produce this map are provisional and have not been reviewed or edited. They may be subject to significant change.
The Dark Side of No Till; A Kansas Farmer's Ag Blog
Like they say, there's good points and bad points about everything. And no till is no different.
But in years like this when nature provides a severe stress test, the myth rapidly fades away--that no till is the perfect way to farm. A friend of mine who is heavily into no till once observed that when you go to no till, you simply trade one set of problems for another. And this year, we're getting to see the dark side of no till.
Back in the early '70s, I remember conversations with USDA researchers at the Akron Experiment Station in northeast Colorado. At that time, they had already started benchmark studies with various no till programs and rotations.
Drought Reinforcing Drought in the U.S. Southern Plains
Faces of Climate Action: Stories about making a difference
Anyone can make a difference. The smallest voice can be heard; the most unlikely of sources can make an impact on the world. We are sharing the stories and images of real people who are working tirelessly with EDF to reduce the impact of climate change.
Summer of Solidarity