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Local Farmer Worried About Drought Impact on Crop Yields
Kansas Ag Connection - 05/26/2023

Kansas farmers are hoping for rain as summer approaches and a drought continues that could hurt crop yields.

“That’s everybody’s morning prayer, don’t let the rain stop," said Jay Armstrong, a local farmer

Wheat is one of Armstrong's crops and he says there's some anxiety among farmers about what's ahead.

“As long as we keep getting rains, we’ll be OK," Armstrong said. "But we've got a long ways to go and if you start getting 2 or 3 weeks of hot weather and no rain, there’s just no subsoil moisture under here to keep that crop alive and it’s going to hurt its yield."

Armstrong's farm is in Atchison County, Ks., an area classified as "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Large portions of western and southern Kansas are in "extreme" and "exceptional" drought.

Farmers are familiar with drought and other weather extremes and take precautions to reduce risk, Jennifer Ifft from Kansas State University said.

"Whether it’s how they select their variety, different farming practices, diversifying the farm operation," Ifft said. "The second part is what we call the safety net. Most farms now have crop insurance and when there’s a large decrease in yield or when crops are completely destroyed, that’s going to make payments that are going to cover some of that loss.”

Consumers may notice higher prices for flour and bread from wheat damaged by drought, but that's not the only impact, Ifft said.


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