EL DORADO, Kan. (KSNW) — Parts of Kansas saw rain on Thursday, but farmers say it won’t be enough to help out in the long run. One farmer says the drought is impacting crop production this year.
Gordon Stands, the owner of Stands Farm, says that this year is the driest he’s ever seen in 20 years and that planting crops isn’t the only difficulty farmers are having.
“It’s a tough year for farmers this year in Kansas. It really is,” said Stands.
Stands says that Thursday’s rainfall in El Dorado wasn’t much, but he’s grateful for some moisture.
“We got a little bit of rain last night, about three-quarters of an inch, I think. Maybe a little bit less. I don’t think it’s gonna make any significant difference in the beans or the corn,” said Stands.
These small rainfall totals are drying up production. He calls this year’s corn harvest “disappointing.”
“A good wheat crop would be considered, you know, 50, 60 bushels, and I think most guys around here probably harvested closer to 30, 35 bushels of wheat. Same with soybeans. You’re gonna see a lot of 20-bushel soybeans harvested when normally you’d be hoping for 40 or 50,” said Stands.
The drought isn’t just affecting crops. Stands doesn’t own cattle himself, but he knows ranchers are struggling from low pond levels, and that’s a big problem as well.
“We haven’t had any rain that had really significant runoff to refill these ponds. And, you know, going into winter, that’s a pretty scary situation,” said Stands.
Stands is hopeful even this small amount of rain will change farmers’ luck.
“My brother-in-law, he always jokes that a rainstorm ended the last drought, so I’m hopeful this is a rainstorm that ends the drought,” said Stands.
Stands says that the rain from Thursday is enough to start planting wheat on Oct. 5, even though this harvesting season isn’t over yet. He says he’s hopeful for more rain next year.