The drought of 2012 dragged on, especially across the nation's heartland. For the country's agricultural community, one of the most visible signs of ongoing drought was the fact that the United States winter wheat crop was in the worst autumn shape on record. By November 25, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of the wheat was rated by the United States Department of Agriculture as being in very poor to poor condition; this was fueled by abysmal crop ratings in South Dakota (64 percent very poor to poor), Nebraska (46 percent), Oklahoma (44 percent), Texas (40 percent), Colorado (34 percent), and Kansas (25 percent).
Weatherwise Contributing Editor BRAD RIPPEY is the U.S. Editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin of the Joint Agriculture NOAA Weather Facility.
Weatherwise Contributing Editor JEFFREY B. HALVERSON is an associate professor of geography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.