The U. S. Drought Monitor considers Missouri drought-free as spring planting season gets closer. We can thank a mild winter for creating the soil conditions that are encouraging in most of the state.
Missouri started the year with a lingering drought from 2012 and the condition didn’t change until late January. State climatologist Pat Guinan says the only part of the state that remains dry is the northwest corner.
In many winters, water from rain and heavy snowstorms can’t soak into the frozen ground. But Guinan says that’s not the case this year. “There was no deep frost line in the soil, so we got some more infiltration as the snow began to melt…and then we’ve had some more notable precipitation events here in March,” he says.
He says the substantial rains and water-laden snow have left the ground in good shape for planting. But he warns drought recovery can be fickle. Guinan says some parts of the state can be only a couple of weeks away from a new drought because of soil types and depth of the soil for plowing. But other than the land in the northwest corner, things are looking good.