More than a third of the state is in D4, or exceptional drought, the worst category. That area covers the Boot-heal and a swath of western Missouri from Kansas City down to around Springfield. The rest of the Show-Me State is in extreme drought (D3), the second-worst category. NDMC Climatologist Mark Svoboda says Missouri can expect a brief reprieve next week.
This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.
U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.
And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."
The Mississippi River has had a wild 12 months. This time last year, the river was at flood level. These days, it's near historic lows. From Illinois southward, the low water levels are affecting commerce, tourism, and just everyday life. The biggest impact may be on shipping, as businessman Larry Daily of Bettendorf Iowa .