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Rain Further Eases Much of Midwest Drought

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A meteorologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture says near-record-setting rainfall last month has nearly eradicated residual drought from much of the Midwest including Iowa.

All that remains of the drought in Iowa are two small areas of abnormally dry conditions, one in the southeast corner of the state, and one in the southwest corner. Some areas now have too much water.

Meteorolgist Brad Rippey says in a Wednesday report drought covers just 5 percent of the U.S. soybean area and 8 percent of the nationís corn.

Corn, rated 75 percent good to excellent, has not been rated as highly at this time of year since 2003. Soybeans, at 72 percent good to excellent, have not been rated as highly at this time of year in the last two decades.