I drove by this wheat field earlier this week and thought it was beautiful. The bright green wheat is quickly turning into those 'amber waves of grain'. But I've learned that although I find this scene attractive, the farmers in this area are far from pleased by the view.
Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service is forecasting that the state's winter wheat production will be down 27 percent from last year because of dry conditions and fewer harvested acres. The agency reported Wednesday it expected production of 261.8 million bushels based on crop conditions on May 1. That would be the lowest production in Kansas since 1996. The 7.7 million acres expected to be harvested would also be the lowest wheat acreage since 1957. Yields are expected to average 34 bushels an acre. That is 11 bushels per acre fewer bushels than last year and would be the lowest yield since 2007. Forecasts for the rest of the country are not nearly as grim. Winter wheat production nationwide is forecast at 1.42 billion bushels, down 4 percent from a year ago. (Associated Press)
Remember this archery scene from yesterday? The locals told me that this entire hill and field are normally green this time of year with things only beginning to brown in August. I've also been told that no one can remember it ever being so dry. And this whole time I thought this extreme dryness was normal.
My hearts are going out to the farmers in this area. Some fields have been destroyed because the yields were so low it wasn't worth the expense of harvesting. One local farmer has reported that there hasn't been a measurable rain on his farm since August. In the ten months that we've lived here I can only count three significant rainfalls. But rainfalls are very spotty out here. When we had hail and an hour's worth of rain, a friend of mine only five miles away had nothing. Nothing.
Kansas is in desperate need of moisture. Everyone is praying for rain.
Anyone willing to pipe us some water?