Extreme weather continues to impact the U.S. economy and agricultural outlook this fall. October started off with a damaging wildfire in the Halsey, Nebraska National Forest. The extreme drought-induced fire covered 24 square miles, destroying the state’s 4-H Camp and devastating countless Nebraskans who held deep connections with the camp’s facilities.

The extensive drought damage has fueled more than destructive wildfires. In USDA’s most recent Small Grains Summary, hard red winter wheat crop in the Great Plains was down 29% from 2021 and the southern Plains states saw a decline of 33% to 49%. A resurgence of La Niña conditions has brought with it continued dry forecasts leading into winter 2023. Recovery from the historic drought will be challenging, particularly with La Niña’s return.

Read more on drought conditions and fall weather predictions here.