Economic Tidbits

Persistent Drought

Nebraska’s past two growing seasons have been plagued with varying levels of drought. Last year, though, saw a marked improvement. Figure 5 compares drought maps for January 2023 and January 2024. In early 2023, 100 percent of the state was under some form of drought. Now drought covers 39 percent of the state. Last year 84 percent of the state was under a severe, extreme, or exceptional drought. This year, just 15 percent is. However, the improvement wasn’t universally experienced. Extreme drought conditions have settled on a cluster of counties in southeast Nebraska while a severe drought plagues other counties in the region. Hopefully, the drought area continues to recede, but drought is likely to affect some producers this year, particularly in southeast Nebraska.

FIGURE 5. NEBRASKA DROUGHT MONITOR

 Source: The National Drought Mitigation Center, UNL

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