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      Soil Moisture Levels Decline as Hot, Dry Weather Continues

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      The hot, dry weather stretching across Nebraska is not only unpleasant for the people, but crops that aren't being irrigated are quickly becoming stressed.

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the pockets of rain that fell around the state this past week did little to help field conditions overall as crops near their peak demand for moisture.

      Reports show the topsoil and subsoil moisture levels declined last week, with dryland corn rates falling well below average.

      Dryland corn is rating 45 percent as in good or excellent condition, compared the 68 percent average. Counties in south-central Nebraska are experiencing the poorest dryland conditions.

      Irrigated corn is fairing better with 82 percent rated good or excellent, above the 75 percent average.

      Meanwhile, 65 percent of the soybean crop is blooming, just over the 61 percent average.

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