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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

As soil in the Midwest has been suffering from insufficient water, made worse by last year's drought, a University of Missouri soil scientist says it could be up to two more years before it is recharged.

Randy Miles tells Brownfield Ag News he wouldn't count on a full soil recovery any time soon. "We're at the point now where we're about 12 inches behind our normal input."

Miles says soil moisture to at least five to 10 feet in depth would be ideal for crops. Moisture this winter has helped but he says it's not enough, "What we have in there has so far been very helpful. It's a good start to the savings account. But remember, if it goes in easy and stays near the surface, it's very easy to take out. That's why we need to get more inputs to move the water front down further."

Wind and warmer temperatures this winter are having a negative effect on the moisture that has accumulated in the top few inches. He says, "We just don't have the piggy bank full. We have a couple quarters and that's about it."

Miles adds that in the summer, corn crops use about a-quarter inch of water a day for development and from evaporation and that amount of rain doesn't even occur weekly. He says fully depleted soil requires about 16 inches of water ABOVE normal precipitation amounts.

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