Kansas wheat crop facing drought

Dec 13, 2016

Credit Brian McGuirk / Flickr Creative Commons

The condition of the winter wheat crop in Kansas is varied because of a lack of moisture.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, areas of the state including western Kansas are currently in moderate to severe drought, only a few weeks after the state was declared drought free, Kansas Agland reports.

Romulo Lollato, wheat and forages extension specialist for Kansas State University’s Department of Agronomy, told Kansas Wheat’s Jordan Hildebrand that many farmers across the state, particularly in south central and southeast Kansas, delayed planting the wheat crop because of excessive moisture and that producers who did plant early got off to a good start, while many farmers who waited have not, due to a lack of moisture. 

While southwest Kansas has been dry for several weeks, subsoil moisture remains adequate from a wetter-than-normal summer. Recent snowfall brought much needed moisture to northwest Kansas  but the small amount doesn’t make up for the fact that the area hadn’t received any kind of moisture for the past two months.

The Nov. 28 Kansas Crop Progress and Condition report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) listed topsoil moisture as 53 percent adequate and subsoil moisture as 64 percent adequate across the state. It listed winter wheat condition as 35 percent fair and 45 percent good.