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Drought expands across the region from lack of rain, hot temperatures

The latest Drought Monitor, released this morning, shows that abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought expanded across the region this week. This was expected with little rain and above-normal temperatures that are still in the mid- to upper 90s in many areas. Unfortunately, the next seven days should see almost no rain in the region again, and even with some cooler temperatures for a few days, evaporative stress will be high and drought is likely to expand more in the next DM. Worse, the long-range forecasts show that parts of the Southeast, including southern Georgia, could receive almost no rain through the first week of October, which will cause severe problems for peanut harvest since rain is needed to soften the ground for harvesting of dryland peanuts. It will also make it difficult to establish winter crops with little soil moisture available.