North Dakota farmers and ranchers will remember 2021 as a year of widespread drought. NDSU Extension State Climatologist Adnan Akyuz says the drought will leave a scar. It set records in North Dakota. “It’s comparable to 1936 and 1988, but in terms of the drought intensity, it’s the highest since 2000. In terms of that, it’s a record. It also broke a record in terms of the highest drought level, D4, starting in May. It was also the largest extension of exceptional and extreme drought.” The latest U.S. Drought Monitor still shows areas of extreme drought in North Dakota, but Akyuz says most of the state received good soil moisture this fall. Heading into winter, there’s a good start, but there’s still a lot of winter left. “I’m cautiously optimistic that the winter is unfolding how it’s supposed to. We are in a La Nina and we could have above normal precipitation.”
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