For the first time since June, Boone County is classified as "abnormally dry" instead of in moderate drought conditions. However, far west Missouri remains in a moderate to severe drought.
The designation makes all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for lower interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
The latest numbers were as of Tuesday, before the arrival of the Midwest's first winter snowstorm.
As estimates about the size of the harvest continues to decline, USDA reports show that a majority of the crop has already been brought in from the field.
The economics of the current drought are likely to nose up prices for bacon and other pork products next year, by as much as 10 percent.
Although a burn ban has been lifted and lawns have become greener, the National Weather Service says the long-term weather prognosis isn't good.
Forty-one mayors gathered in St. Louis this week for the inaugural meeting of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative.
Despite the recent rain from Hurricane Isaac, the drought still damaged a large portion of crops beyond repair.
Some key farming states got much-needed rain, but conditions worsened in Nebraska and Iowa.
Forest officials said rain from remnants of Hurricane Isaac has allowed for summer-long fire restrictions to be lifted.
Isaac helped the rivers water levels rise, but it will not be enough to return to normal water levels for this time of year.
The National Weather Service expects the drought to persist or worsen over the next three months.
The Mizzou Botanic Garden staff spends its days working to keep plants and trees alive during the extensive dry spell.
The state program announced by Gov. Jay Nixon a month ago covers 90 percent of the cost for farmers to drill or deepen wells or expand their irrigation systems.
Low water levels are causing a problem for ships along the Mississippi River.
Missouri farmers are looking into alternative livestock feeds due to drought and hay shortages.
Nearly all of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois are in extreme or exceptional drought, with Illinois showing the most-dramatic climb in those categories.
Drought conditions have led to low waters in the Mississippi River, causing problems for boats traveling on the river.
The water levels in the Mississippi River are expected to remain low into October, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The water levels have affected shipping traffic and forced harbor closings in many locations, including Missouri.
Almost 100 vessels are stranded along a stretch of the Mississippi River due to low water levels caused by extreme drought.