CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. (KSNW) — From selling off cattle to nixing some crops altogether, some Kansas farmers said the drought is bad and only getting worse.
Many farmers said they have never seen a drought this bad. They are hoping and crossing their fingers that any kind of moisture comes through to help the crops grow and bring residue to the soil.
“We are only 10 days in, but we are still behind the top couple inches is moisture, but you get under those top couple inches, we are dry,” said Aaron Lange, JEHM Custom Farming Farm manager.
Lange has been farming for nearly two decades.
He said he is trying to keep the fields moist by low tilling and planting cover crops.
“We double-cropped soybeans back in, and the soybeans got about four or six inches tall, and they died because of the lack of moisture,” said Lange.
Lange is not the only one feeling the effects of little to no rain.
“The wheat is disappearing rapidly. It is not looking very good,” said DeWayne Craghead, Hodgeman County Extension Office agent.
“We are getting into a situation where we are not harvesting crops cause there is nothing there,” said Jeanne Falk Jones, Northwest Research Extension Center multi-county agronomist.
Experts said some farmers are so desperate they are selling their cattle.
Others are finding ways to save as prices for fuel, fertilizer, and chemicals rise.
And the impact could go beyond the fields.
“There is no food raised. There will be none in the stores to be had,” said Craghead.
“It’s not just affecting this crop, but it’s affecting the next crop that is relying on the residue in the current crop,” said Falk Jones.
While farmers are trying to manage their fields with different techniques, they need rain.
If that doesn’t come, many said spring crops could be the next thing to be impacted.