Drought worsens in some key Midwest farming states

A pickup truck travels a dusty road amidst dry corn fields near Bennington, Neb., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac dumped heavy rain on some key Midwest farming states that dramatically lessened the drought there, but conditions worsened in two of the nation's biggest corn producers, Iowa and Nebraska, which missed out on the badly needed moisture, according to a drought report released Thursday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.

ST. LOUIS — A weekly drought report shows that conditions have worsened in some key Midwest farming states where the corn harvest is more than halfway completed.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that 75 percent of Iowa, the nation's biggest corn producer, is enduring extreme or exceptional drought, which are the two worst classifications. That's up roughly 10 percentage points from the previous week.

The worse conditions won't make much difference to Iowa's already withered corn crop but it could affect crops such as winter wheat.

Nearly 98 percent of neighboring Nebraska still falls into the two most severe drought categories.

Overall drought conditions in the lower 48 states remained relatively unchanged.

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