From too much rain to not enough currently, area farmers continue to deal with a very volatile pattern across much of the Midwest. The United States Department of Agriculture has now officially declared all 102 Illinois Counties Agriculture Disaster Areas.
What does this mean? This declaration provides federal resources including low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency, to help farmers recovering from extreme weather earlier this year.
Heavy rains in both April and May caused significant flooding of farm fields and also led to long delays in planting. Now with a dry pattern continuing for much of the region, nearly 44 percent of farm fields are suffering from topsoil drought according to the latest Illinois Crop Progress Report from the USDA.
Rainfall has been in short supply since mid-June. That's when deeper moisture was suppressed to the south of the region and more storm systems traveled further north along the US/Canadian border.
The extended outlook continues to look dry for the week ending August 10th, however, some promising signs of beneficial rains do emerge by the week of August 17th as a series of stronger storm systems travel across the Midwest.