How Kansas farmers can battle drought

Diversifying crop production to include crops with lower water requirements is one pathway toward a resilient future for Kansas agriculture.



November 6, 2023 - 3:52 PM

Water has not flowed over the Elm Creek dam south of Iola since early summer. Precipitation from Nov. 1, 2022 to Nov. 1, 2023 is down 16.3 inches. REGISTER/SUSAN LYNN

This summer was the hottest on record, and September was warmer than the average July temperatures from 2001-2010. Kansas farms are on the frontlines of these changes.

Persistent drought gripped a large portion of the Midwest, Kansas included, and significantly lowered this year’s winter wheat yields. Farmers also are reporting lower than expected soybean and corn harvests.

If this growing season is a preview of years to come, Kansas farmers will face increasing water scarcity and hotter temperatures. They will need support in accelerating the efforts they’re already undertaking to make their farms more resilient to these changes.

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