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Extreme Heat Exacerbating Drought

Indiana flora has been suffering during the drought. Rainfall levels are not expected to return to normal until the end of summer...if not fall.

A statewide drought is endangering Indiana crops and could mean low yields for some farmers. Martinsville corn and soybean farmer Steve Bright says crops around the state don’t have much of a chance if rainfall doesn’t increase this summer.

He predicts crop losses could be anywhere from 50 to 80-percent.

“In some areas of the state especially south of Indianapolis, south of I-70, down towards Jasper from Indianapolis,there’s going to be a lot of crops up there that are going to be a total loss,” he says. “And no one’s ever seen this before, we’re charting new territory.”

The dry weather causing those losses isn’t expected to subside. National Weather Service Hydrologist Al Shipe says this could be the driest season since the dust bowl conditions of the 1930’s. He says much of south central Indiana saw no measurable rain the entire month of June.

Shipe says people need to start being be more conservative about using water.

“This drought may go on for some time,” he says. “You may have to pick and choose; do you really want green grass if your house catches on fire and there is no water to put out the fire?”

Shipe says normal rainfall levels might not return until September or later.

WFIU’s Julie Rawe contributed to this report.

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