In the latest “Drought Monitor” report, drought conditions across the Corn Belt stayed steady this week. Nearly one-fourth of the Midwest and 22 percent of the High Plains are in moderate or worse drought – unchanged from last week’s report.

Overall, 37 million acres of corn – or 38 percent of the crop – were growing in drought as of Oct. 29. This is down considerably from the 53.6 million acres reported in mid-September. Read more here.

Brad Rippey, meteorologist in the USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, adds, “Thus, the 2013 growing season effectively has ended with 38 percent of the U.S. corn production area and 28 percent of the soybean area in drought, down from late-summer peaks of 55 and 45 percent, respectively. Still, there are pockets of lingering drought in the Midwest. On October 27, USDA/NASS rated topsoil moisture more than half very short to short in Illinois (60 percent), Missouri (58 percent), and Iowa (53 percent).”