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An article written in the spring of 2013 as a reporter for the Northwest Missourian about Missouri's drought in 2013 and the implications for the future.
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  BRANDON ZENNER  Missourian Reporter | @TheMissourian  With recent summers hitting Missouri’s soil and farmers hard, experts are not sure conditions will be improving anytime soon.Last summer, Missouri under- went its third driest summer since 1895, with only 8 inches o󰁦 rainfall from May through August. A Uni- versity o󰁦 Missouri researcher said it will take a couple o󰁦 years for the soil and crops to recover.Randall Miles, associate pro-fessor o󰁦 soil science at MU School o󰁦 Natural Resources, found in re-search that the soil is overwhelming dry from the decline in precipitation during the recent summers.“To start recovering, we need to get back to our normal rainfall over the next two years,” Miles said. “Even with above-average rainfall,  we may be looking at 18-24 months to start carrying us forward.”Miles said the moisture in the soil is far below average levels.“Since August 2011, we have had a deficit o󰁦 water compared to Soil to remain weak for years  following drought  SEE   SOIL | A5  SOIL CONTINUED FROM    A1  what we normally get,” Miles said. “We are about 11 inches short from that 15-month segment.”Because o󰁦 the large amount o󰁦 crops that come from Missouri, the soil requires moisture lost from win-ter-time to be restored. The small amount o󰁦 moisture in the subsoil is hurting the crop production.However, from what Miles has seen, the Northwest region is not as bad as other portions o󰁦 the state.“Central and southern Mis-souri have su󰁦fered most, with the dry weather not boding well for bee󰁦 production,” Miles said.Greg Baumann, assistant man-ager o󰁦 the Maryville Missouri Farmer’s Association, agreed with Miles’ comments.Baumann stated this will be an-other bad season for area farmers and their crops. “Going into this year, there is no subsoil moisture, so we are depend-ing on more timely rain,” Baumann said.From looking at predictions for the upcoming months, Miles is guessing we will have more moisture and cooler temperatures than last summer, but most likely moisture still will not reach our averages. “(This drought) is similar to droughts in the early ‘50s that the Midwest saw,” Miles said. “I󰁦 it is similar to those years, it may take a long time to get out o󰁦 it.”

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Jul 23, 2017
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