Wichita A deepening drought across Kansas farm country has already destroyed as much as half of the state's dryland corn fields and now threatens other crops, industry observers said Monday.
"We have moved into depression mode with a lot of people," said Scott Staggenborg, a Kansas State University crop specialist. "I don't know if we have had anything this bad in recent history."
Even those parts of the state that escaped the worst of the drought during the wheat harvest are now getting hammered by drought on their spring-planted crops.
Scattered, sometimes heavy showers over the weekend provided relief to some areas in the eastern half of the state, but continuing triple-digit temperatures worsened crop and pasture conditions in most areas, Kansas Agricultural Statistic Services said Monday.
The agency said topsoil moisture in the state was 87 percent short to very short, with subsoil moisture at 84 percent short to very short.
Even if it rains the rest of the season, it is already too late to salvage the state's corn crop. Staggenborg estimated half of the dryland corn acres planted in the state will be abandoned.
On Monday, KASS ranked the condition of corn in Kansas as 18 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 25 percent good, and 3 percent excellent.