California’s drought worst since at least 1895

More than 80 percent of California is withering under extreme or worse drought, unchanged from last Drought Monitor report and nearly triple the percentage reported on Jan. 1. FULL STORY »

Not even storms can stop California’s drought

A strange thing happened to California during its historic drought – it rained. But even the rare summer deluge wasn’t enough to bring anything but “isolated chaos” and flash flooding to the state desperate for drought relief. FULL STORY »

Data Analyses: How weather patterns can affect cattle production

“It’s impossible to answer long-term questions about cattle production using short-term data,” says ecologist Justin Reeves, who works in the ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and headed up the analyses. FULL STORY »

What drought? Vilsack sees ‘solid’ crops in Corn Belt

Thanks to favorable weather conditions across much of the Northern Plains and Midwest, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack expects many Corn Belt farmers to harvest a “solid” corn crop this year. FULL STORY »

Cattle producer health: Precautions reduce heat illness

Summer heat can be dangerous. Heat illness is a serious medical condition resulting from the body's inability to cope with a particular heat load. It is not a sign of weakness or frailty, and it can be a serious health risk even when the temperature is moderate. FULL STORY »

No El Niño in 2014? Drought-weary California in trouble

The Drought Monitor – and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology – were the bearers of bad news for Californians anxious for relief from the state’s historic drought. FULL STORY »

California pays the price for Corn Belt’s cold snap

The unseasonable return of the jet stream brought cool temperatures to the Corn Belt and more heat to California. FULL STORY »

California marks warmest winter and spring on record

California had its warmest winter and spring on record this year, leading to stresses on water resources and agriculture, as well as increased risk of wildfire in the most populous U.S. state, the National Weather Service said Monday. FULL STORY »

El Niño may not bring needed rains to parched California

California's drought - its worst in decades - is likely to hold steady through the summer months and may not ease in the fall even with an anticipated El Niño weather pattern, a federal drought expert said on Friday. FULL STORY »

Drought costs California's ag industry $2.2 billion

The historic drought in California is proving costly, draining $2.2 billion from the state’s farm economy and putting some 17,000 agricultural workers out of a job. FULL STORY »

Southern Plains still grappling with persistent drought

Unlike California, a wet June over the nation’s heartland helped to slowly erode portion of drought on the southern and central Plains, but it wasn’t enough to bring the region out of drought. FULL STORY »

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