Last week's map, like the week before it, showed only 0.11 percent of Arkansas being drought-free. This week, 6.04 percent of the state was drought-free including parts of Columbia, Ouachita, Union, Ashley, Desha and Chicot counties.
However, the area of deepest drought, "exceptional," remained unchanged across parts of northwest and north-central Arkansas. The map did show improvements in parts of the Arkansas River Valley, which was drought's Ground Zero for most of the summer.
While the rain in southeastern parts of the state did recharge waterways, it also put farmers behind in the harvest and caused a little worry over the quality of cotton. Rain can stain the white cotton lint in the open bolls and cause the bolls to string out, making them tough to harvest.
"Our producers really got back into the field Tuesday afternoon," said Chicot County Extension Staff Chairman Gus Wilson, of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. "If we could get another 10 days of good weather, we ought to be about 95 percent complete in the harvest. We still have a few late soybeans out there."
"If it doesn't rain this weekend, every tractor will be running hard, getting the land prepared for next year," he said.
The latest round of drought conditions developed over Arkansas in 2010, mainly across the state's southeast half. In 2011, the drought continued through much of the year and spread across the south and west.