November 20, 2012
Drought not going away
Wunderground - According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, the amount of the contiguous U.S. in moderate to extreme drought declined last week to 59%, down from the 65% peak of September 25. However, the intense drought is likely to persist through the winter, and its already heavily impacting the winter wheat growing season, which began in October. The persistent drought is also a major problem for Mississippi River navigation. According to a November 17 AP story, the Mississippi is so low that if it drops another five feet, barge traffic may shut down from St. Louis to the confluence of the Ohio River at Cairo, IL. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to lower the level of the Mississippi by 2 - 3 feet over the next few weeks, due to the need to conserve water in the upper Missouri River basin.