Sunday, July 1, 2012

Drought Update

Rain, or the lack of it, has been the topic of conversation among farmers, ranchers, and farmwives across the Midwest for the past few months. 

Yellow- Abnormally Dry, Peach- Moderate Drought, Orange- Severe Drought, Red- Extreme Drought

Most of NE Kansas is in a severe drought right now. This summer has been unusually hot and dry.  We have only received 4.2 inches of rain since April 1st, and the average rainfall for this area is 12.9 inches.  If you sit outside you can almost hear the grass curling up and dying.  My potted plants have given up on trying to live, even though I water them twice a day.  The many days of above 100 degree weather and hot dry wind have just scorched everything I have planted around the house. Adam and I have only mowed our yard twice this summer and we normally mow it weekly during a normal year. The cracks in the ground are massive and it is just so depressing to walk outside and see that nothing is living.

However, my plight with my few potted plants, hanging baskets, and brown yard can't even hold a candle to what many farmers and ranchers are experiencing right now.  No rain and the excessive heat has stunted the corn and left it looking curled up and shriveled. Farmers and ranchers, who are usually the most optimistic people I know, are losing hope and their conversations now have a tone of pessimism in them.

It is not only the crops that are suffering from this drought, but the pastures are also being baked by this weather.  This means the cattle are running out of grass and in some pastures we have already started feeding hay because the cows don't have anything to eat.  The hay we baled this summer is already being fed to the cattle.  Normally we would not start feeding hay until October or November. Also, with the lack of rain we have begun to haul water to the pasture because the ponds or creeks are drying up.

Last night thunderstorms popped up across Kansas, the radar looked so promising, but we didn't get a drop. There was a lot of lighting, thunder, and wind, but NO rain!  It was such a let down after getting our hopes up that we might finally get a rain to refresh the crops and land.

Please pray for rain, not just for Kansas, but across the nation.  The wild fires in Colorado have been so destructive and taken so many acres, homes and lives.  We need a long, soaking rain to refresh the Midwest and cooler temperatures would also help out too, but I don't think that is in the forecast anytime soon.

The only highlight right now during this depressing time is that the soybean crop is actually looking good.  It will need a rain to stay on track, but as of right now it is hanging in there and is still green and growing.

My potted plants have given up on trying to live. 

A huge crack in the yard. 
Another huge crack in the yard. 

The dry, brown yard. 

The corn is very short and shriveled. 

The once broad green leaves of the corn are now all curled up. 

The dry pasture. 

The creek that was raging with water last summer is now
barely a trickling stream. 

The soybeans are still hanging on and looking pretty good so far.
We are hopeful that this crop will pull through and produce something
this fall. 

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