I hope none of you sleep-deprived ranchers digging through snow drifts in the middle of calving season take the above headline wrong. However, it’s simply amazing to look at the drought index maps today compared to just a month ago.
The eastern Corn Belt has made significant progress, along with a lot of other areas of the country. Eastern Colorado, Wyoming, Northern Nebraska, parts of the Texas Panhandle, and Montana remain in the severe drought categories, but the overall map has markedly improved. The outlook has improved even in the areas that remain in severe drought. In fact, a few areas have been in that category for three years, while others are starting in on their second year. As a friend in Wyoming told me recently, “The drought isn’t over, but we have a fighting chance.”
Yes, a very wide swath of the country has received good moisture in the last two weeks, covering most of the drier cow-calf areas and feeding country as well. Even the ranchers immersed in calving season amid blizzard conditions had to be thankful for the moisture.