Could the drought in Missouri finally be moving on?

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows there are no longer any parts of Missouri suffering from exceptional drought, the worst category, but severe and extreme drought conditions still persist over large sections of the Show-Me State.

Meteorologist Jared Maples with the National Weather Service office in St. Louis suggests the latest data seems to indicate it’s possible that Missouri has reached a turning point.

“We have probabilities for above-normal precipitation over much of the state, in fact, and into portions of the Ohio Valley,” he recently told Missouri’s Drought Assessment Committee. “So, a pretty broad stretch of overactive weather could pan out into August.”

Maples also said the above-normal rain patterns should continue beyond August.

“That good news kind of continues into August, September, (and) October outlooks for the three-month period,” he said. “Fortunately, it does keep somewhat of an act of indication or signal here over the central portions of the country with above normal probabilities over the state of Missouri. Again, that’s August, September, and October timeframe.”

Missouri has already seen several storm systems move through in the past few days, although excessive heat is still a problem in much of the state.

Access to hay will likely remain a problem for Missouri ranchers, even if the drought is winding down.

Some Missouri livestock owners have been selling off their herds due to hay shortages caused by the drought. Agriculture director Chris Chinn told the Drought Assessment Committee that her agency has been getting lots of phone calls on tax penalties ranchers may be facing because they felt compelled to sell their cattle.

“There’s two provisions in the tax code – one is 451G and the other is section 1033 – that can help you with offsetting those capital gains taxes if you repopulate in subsequent years,” she said.”

Meanwhile, Chinn is reminding farmers and ranchers of the state’s hay directory, which can be found on the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s website.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.