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Drought Worsening Across Key Midwestern States

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The nation's worst drought in decades is worsening in other key Midwest farm states, but Illinois growers aren't likely to complain about what's going on in their state.  The U.S. Drought Monitor's weekly update shows 60 percent of the land in the lower 48 states is experiencing some degree of drought. That's down less than a percentage point from the previous week.    

In Illinois, 42 percent of the state is in some form of drought. But unlike much of the Midwest, none of Illinois is in the two worst drought classifications.  All of Marion, Fayette, and Clinton Counties are said to have returned to normal soil moisture conditions.  Parts of Jefferson, Washington, Clay and Wayne Counties still have some areas in the abnormally dry category, the least severe listing on the drought monitor.  Those are the same conditions listed in last week's drought monitor.   

The U.S. Agriculture Department says Illinois corn and soybean growers have virtually wrapped up their harvests and nearly all of the winter wheat crop in Illinois is now in the ground. Three-quarters of that crop has emerged.

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