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Ohio is "Abnormally Dry"

map of Ohio drought conditions on September 13, 2016

Almost a fifth of the state is in a moderate drought, and the federal department of agriculture says about half of Ohio is listed as “abnormally dry." And that lack of rain is having a mixed effect on farmland, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer.

“Some farmers are going to have the best crops they’ve had this year, and over where I live in Mercer County, in the western part of the state, we really needed rain and only got some about a week ago, so we’re going to have pretty poor crops. Now, it’s been good for algal blooms and nutrient runoff issues that we’ve been fighting. So this has been a good year for Grand Lake St. Marys and Lake Erie.”

The moderate drought area is all in northern Ohio, stretching from southern Toledo all the way to the Pennsylvania line. 

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.