Drought conditions expanded across the region this week, with extreme (D3) drought added to areas of Virginia and South Carolina. The biggest change was the addition of exceptional (D4) drought in northwest GA and northeast Al due to complete lack of rain combined with warm temperatures over most of the last month. It has not been this dry in the area since the bad drought of 2016, and the impacts are very bad for cattle producers with no forage and little hay as well as small grains farmers. I have heard stories of streams and ponds that have gone completely dry and seen the evidence of wildfires in satellite images with smoke plumes. Fortunately, there is some hope of relief since a pattern change should bring some rain to the region over the weekend. It also looks like we will be in a rainier pattern from here on, so that may alleviate the dry conditions, but it is probably too late for some cattle producers, who have been culling cattle, and small grains producers, since we have already had frost there. Southern AL and SW Georgia and the Florida Panhandle will get some relief but not as much as they need, either. Puerto Rico is the only part of the region that did not see a change this week.

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