Extreme drought conditions a wakeup call to Kansans

Cracking ground and empty river beds suggest the state must bring more urgency and focus to drought concerns. 



October 10, 2022 - 2:19 PM

An irrigation pivot sprays water from the Ogallala Aquifer onto a young corn crop in Grant County, Kansas. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS)

Nathan Kells and his family have farmed in southwestern Haskell County, Kansas, since 1885. He runs a full service heifer ranch, growing crops to feed the animals.

The ground is dry. Very dry. Haskell County, a three-hour drive west of Wichita, now faces an “exceptional” drought, which is the highest category of dry. “Wildfires and large dust storms occur” when it’s this dry, the National Weather Service warns. 

“It’s very taxing on you, emotionally,” Kells said. “Not to speak of financially. We do what we can.” 

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