Social Links Search




Kansas wheat crop faces severe drought conditions

Kansas wheat crop faces severe drought conditions

By Scout Nelson

Wheat farmers in Kansas are confronting significant challenges this growing season, with the state experiencing one of its driest Aprils on record and an early freeze event further complicating matters.

Ross Janssen, a chief meteorologist in Wichita, reported that Dodge City saw only 0.02 inches of precipitation last month, matching the record low from 1909.

The drought has led to widespread concern across central and southern Kansas, where earlier optimism for the wheat crop has sharply declined.

Data from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service show a significant drop in crop health, with ratings falling from 57 % good to excellent in late February to just 31 % by late April.

Farmers from the Spearville area observed that their wheat initially appeared promising last fall and benefited from favorable conditions in early winter.

The last significant rainfall was on February 5, and since then, the lack of moisture has been detrimental, resulting in the loss of some wheat tillers and an overall decline in crop condition.

Fields across the area display widespread drought stress and freeze damage, impacting the growth and viability of the wheat.

In Rice County, farmers noted the resilience of their wheat despite adverse conditions, thanks to improved crop genetics. Yet, even their best fields have struggled to grow beyond knee height due to the persistent drought.

They remarked on the promising state of the wheat back in February, which has since been overshadowed by the harsh realities of the current season.

Farmers in McPherson County shared similar sentiments, emphasizing the drastic need for rain to salvage what remains of the wheat crop. The modest moisture received in April was insufficient to counteract the deficit, leading to further deterioration of the wheat's health.

The ongoing drought and early freezes have left many farmers like Sawyer facing repeated challenges, with some wheat struggling to develop properly. The overall impact of these conditions has placed significant strain on the agricultural community, which had high hopes for this year's wheat crop after a promising start.

As the Wheat Quality Council prepares for its annual hard winter wheat tour in mid-May, participants will closely examine the extent of the damage and evaluate potential recovery strategies. The situation underscores the critical need for favorable weather in the coming weeks to improve grain fill conditions and partially reduce the season's losses.

Photo Credit -istock-zhaojiankang

Kansas celebrates May as beef month Kansas celebrates May as beef month
Bull breeding fitness tests essential for spring turnout Bull breeding fitness tests essential for spring turnout

Categories: Kansas, Crops, Wheat, Weather

Subscribe to newsletters

Crop News

Rural Lifestyle News

Livestock News

General News

Government & Policy News

National News

Back To Top