Randall Miles says crops, soil may not recover from drought for 3 years

2:55 PM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KSDK) - A University of Missouri researcher says it may take two years before Midwest crops and soil to recover from the drought.

Randall Miles, associate professor of soil science at the MU School of Natural Resources says dry soil can be found as deep as five feet. This is where the roots of crops receive moisture and nutrients.

Some roots had to go down as much as eight feet to find water last year, according to Miles. He is testing depths of soils moisture around the state and found areas that received extra rain from Hurricane Isaac were wet in the first few inches but dry below that level.

"In order for the soil moisture to return to a normal state this year, the rain and snow would almost have to come continuously," Miles said. "The weather would almost have to be like the precipitation found in London, coming down light and slowly to minimize runoff."

Miles believes farmers may not be able to grow bumper crops for another two to three years.


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