Kansas farmer: ‘Ice is a good thing’


SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – As communities across Kansas clean up after this weekend’s ice storm, area farmers said they are welcoming the much needed moisture.

Monday was a good day at the Patterson Family Farm near Valley Center.

“I’m jollier than a jack rabbit in a carrot patch,” said Patterson Family Farm Owner Josh Patterson.

Josh Patterson was jumping for joy this weekend, oddly enough, because of the recent ice storm.

“Ice for crop farming is really a good thing,” Patterson said.

While people across the state were dealing with ice-covered power lines, fences and trees on Monday, Patterson said his ice-covered wheat crop has more potential now than it did before the storm hit.

“We haven’t had a decent rain since maybe the middle of September, so we are thankful for this moisture, so at least we can have hope for a good wheat crop,” he said.

Patterson said more than 2 inches of rain fell at his farm over the weekend.

KSN Agriculture Expert John Jenkinson said some areas in western Kansas received more than one inch of rain. Jenkinson said the moisture is a blessing for the farming community.

“The fields are soft and our terrace channels are full and you know we haven’t had that since August,” Patterson said.

However, not everyone at Patterson’s farm is as jolly as he is about the weekend weather.

“Anytime you get a rain under 40 degrees, it’s really hard on the cattle,” he said.

Patterson said the colder the temperature, the more likely the cows are to lose weight.

“They go trekking through the mud, that’s not good when you are wanting to get gains on the cattle,” he said. “They have the thick coat on them, but it could lead to a lot of problems when they are sitting out in the elements all the time. Now, we are going to have to start watching for pneumonia and respiratory problems and stuff.”

Agriculture experts also said the ice can act as insulation and can protect crops from the bitter cold.

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