- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2020

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Recent rain has helped ease drought conditions in Nebraska, but not by much.

Some areas of northeast Nebraska saw more than 2 inches of rain last week, and other areas got more than an inch. The Lincoln Journal Star, citing the state Drought Monitor released Thursday by the University of Nebraska, noted that drought conditions are only slightly improved.

More than half the state remains in some level of drought this week, although the percentage dropped from almost 56% last week to about 53.4%. Severe drought dropped from nearly 26% to 23.5%. Extreme drought conditions are now confined mostly to Cuming County.

Places across the state have seen precipitation levels far below normal this year. Omaha’s precipitation level is 11 inches below normal, Sidney’s is 10 inches less than normal.

The National Weather Service said in a report that topsoil moisture is rated as 31% short across the state, and 44 counties have authorized emergency haying and grazing on land in the Conservation Reserve Program.

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