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Archive for Thursday, August 15, 1991

DRY WEATHER DOES IN SOME AREA CROPS

August 15, 1991

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Halfway through August, the Lawrence area still has received less than an inch of rain for the month, despite the prayers of Douglas County farmers.

"It's the same old story, chapter five or six," said Garry Keeler, agricultural agent with the Douglas County Extension Service. "There's no more moisture out there to help the crops."

Keeler said he's driven around the county and seen some crops that have endured the drought and seem to be in good condition, while others are virtually beyond recovery. For example, he said, soybean plants that have lost their leaves and milo plants with leaves that have rolled up usually won't benefit from additional moisture.

Most of the early planted corn has been harvested, and some farmers were pleasantly surprised by the yield, Keeler said. "Some got 50 to 60 bushels (an acre)," he said. "That's pretty good."

However, corn planted later in the season has suffered in the hot, dry weather. Although most harvesting won't take place for another two or three weeks, some farmers are cutting corn for silage, Keeler said.

Dry soil also poses a problem for farmers planning to plant winter wheat, which usually is done from mid-September to mid-October. "Without any moisture, there's no sense planting," Keeler said. "It'll just sit there."

Neil Gum, of Kansas Agriculture Statistics, said the latest rating of topsoil and subsoil moisture in northeast Kansas was 100 percent short to very short.

"They're not in real good shape," he said. "Crop conditions continue to more or less deteriorate. The corn's pretty much gone, but some rain could still keep the sorghum and soybeans from sliding down any more."

Unfortunately, weather forecasters predict sunny skies for the next few days with high temperatures in the low 90s.

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