Exceptional drought takes hold in parts of Missouri

One of the worst droughts to take hold in Missouri for several years continues to grow across the state. The newest drought monitor shows that nearly 98 percent of the state is experiencing abnormally dry to dry conditions. This is a 13 percent increase from last weeks drought monitor which shows just how severe the drought problem has been across the state. 

For the first time since the drought of 2012, Missouri is once again facing challenges from the lack of rain. Parts of Missouri are seeing a D-4 drought, the first in the Midwest since April of 2013. With little to no relief in site, it's likely we'll experience long term impacts. 

The latest report by the USDA shows the toll the drought is beginning to take on farmers and ranchers. In the report, the governmental agency says many producers are feeding some hay now or thinning the herd trying to save anything that might be left in the pastures.

As for the crops, the most recent report shows that conditions continue to drop for the cash crops in the state. 

The drought is also taking a toll on reservoirs. The drought monitor says Caldwell County (near Hamilton) has seen the city reservoir drop by two inches per week, which is now sitting 70 inches below the spillway. If this trend were to continue, unprecedented water restrictions and closure of non-essential businesses could occur.  

It's a growing concern as the extreme drought continues to trickle down and take hold across all of Mid-Missouri. 

Stay with ABC 17 News as we continue to monitor the drought situation and follow us on Twitter @ABC17Stormtrack. 

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