Minnesota is dry and getting drier.
A band of severe drought now extends from the southwestern corner of the state, through the Twin Cities, up to the northeastern tip. The only part of Minnesota that isn't short on rain is a portion of the northwest, an updated map released Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center shows.
"We are in desperate need of rainfall," said Curt Watson, a farmer in Renville County in west-central Minnesota.
Eighty-two percent of the state is now rated abnormally dry, while 35 percent is in moderate drought and 24 percent is in severe drought, according to the drought center. Only 18 percent of the state is close to normal.
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1,100 cattle die in heat wave
As many as 1,100 cattle, most of them being finished for sale in feedlots, died in the high heat and humidity. It's a rare occurrence that caught many off guard."I don't remember that kind of loss in our state in recent years," Holland said. "It's a disaster for some people.''
The lethal combination of heat and humidity, coupled with a lack of breeze and the continued hot temperatures overnight, contributed to the deaths, he said."If we can get some cooler temperatures, even at night, and some breeze, it should ease," Holland said.
Temperatures, which have held steady in the 90s, are expected to fall into the low 80s in much of eastern South Dakota on Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
The heat-related death toll for cattle in northeastern and east-central South Dakota continues to mount. It's now estimated that more than 2,800 cattle were killed during the heat spell earlier this week.