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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Locals weigh in on harvest

  • With one of the worse droughts in decades sweeping across Mid-west farm belts, some in local agriculture say crops have come in better, or as expected.
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  • With one of the worse droughts in decades sweeping across Mid-west farm belts, some in local agriculture say crops have come in better, or as expected.
    Kiowa County received very little rain during the summer months, and most agree that dry land crops were the hardest hit. Even irrigated land saw some reduction in yields, though results were mixed, as well levels were, for the most part, inconsistent.
    "[The drought] affected us somewhat," said local farmer Patrick Jansen. "On our good wells we haven't noticed it as much. I talked with some farmers to our west and some saw 20-foot drops in their levels, or worse. In our area right around here it hasn't been that significant."
    Jansen, who farms about 4,000 acres with his father, former Greensburg Mayor John Jansen, said their yield was higher than expected, but lower than last year.
    "We're about 10 to 15 percent below our normal production. But still, for the weather, we're pleased with what we're getting."
    John Francis, the grain merchandiser for the Farmer's Co-op in Haviland, said that the dry land crops were the hardest hit.
    "The dry land crops were very small," said Francis. "What was out there wasn't very much. Irrigated was above normal and we had pretty consistent yields but dry land was non-existent."
    Francis said wheat and corn were really good quality this year and that there was nothing out of the ordinary this year, despite the low moisture.
    "The corn was better than anticipated," said Francis, who is in his fifth year of serving eastern Kiowa County farms. "We figured it would be short yield because of the water shortage, but we had pretty normal yields. More than anticipated on corn and beans; the beans are doing pretty well this year also."
    With wheat finished and most corn harvested, producers are looking towards soybeans and milo. Milo, also known as sorghum, is grown as feed grain for livestock.
    "You can drive around and see that the dry land milo took it in the shorts," said Southern Plains Greensburg Co-op Branch Manager Rod Craft. "There's a lot of milo that didn't make it. The irrigated milo is probably going to be ok. The full season stuff looks pretty decent. We don't really have a lot of moisture right now; we've been lucky enough to get some showers but how long is that going to last?"
    Craft also noticed that corn pollinated later in the summer had better yields.
    "It seems like the stuff that was pollinated later, missed that really dry part of the summer," he said. "The corn did the worst when it pollinated in that heat. I've heard some farmers were down to 100 bushels [per acre], some only had 180 to 225 [bushels per acre]. It was about the time it was planted and the time the heat hit that made a difference."
    Page 2 of 2 - Craft also said soybeans will be "pretty average from what I've heard."
    editor@kiowacountysignal.com
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