26 Feb Impact of Drought Lasts Longer Than Drought Itself
For farmers, the impact of a drought is not only felt while it is happening, but also for several years after. According to Randall Miles at the University of Missouri, dry soil can take at least two years to recover to normal conditions. Randall found that soil in the Midwest was dry as deep as 5 feet in 2012. In some cases, plants had to send roots 8 feet into the soil to find moisture. The deeper the dry soil reaches, the longer it will take to recharge. On average, 1 foot of soil holds 2 inches of water. If 8 feet of soil needs to be recharged, that requires 16 inches of moisture. On top of that, water needs plenty of time to penetrate soil that deep. Runoff and evaporation are two major factors that can hinder this process. It’s also not just the soil that is affected, but the beneficial insects and soil microbes that live in the soil as well. Based on all that, Miles has concluded that will take at least two years for soil conditions to recover to normal, and that’s assuming normal rainfall over those two years. Drought conditions need time to recover, but with the proper moisture, soil can bounce back.
News Bureau, University of Missouri