Drought Damage Showing Up In Kansas Crops

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Drought damage is showing up in Kansas crop condition numbers.
Forty-two percent of the corn is in poor to very poor condition. Forty-one percent of the soybean crop is also in poor to very poor condition. Thirty-nine percent of the milo crop is in poor to very poor condition

This year is bringing a crop of tribulation for farmers like Ryan Speer. "I'm ready for it to be over," Speer said. His non-irrigated corn crop is only yielding 20- 25% of what it usually does, he said. That's not good, even if grain prices are high. Recent rains are helping Speer's dryland bean and milo crops, but come too late for the corn. "With the drought and everything it has been a pretty stressful year. And there's not going to be much crop coming in," Speer said. " The prices are real good, but it doesn't matter what the price is when you don't have any."

"The amount of rain that we got in the last couple of weeks is not a drought buster," Dr. Gary Cramer, a Sedgwick County extension agent said. 'It gives us some temporary relief. We're not going to get the typical irrigated yields that we would expect because of the high heat levels we had."

Besides drought, Speer said, 40-plus days with temperatures above 100 degrees slowed crop development. Farmers with irrigation will do better with higher yields, of course. But those fields are also suffering despite having more water. All of which explains why some farmers are ready for this year to be over.


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