September 14, 2011
Kansas Department of Agriculture
(785) 296-2653 phone
Kansas Drought Continues, Production Losses Reach $1.7 Billion
TOPEKA – Drought continues in Kansas with nearly three fourths of the state abnormally to exceptionally dry. The estimated value loss of wheat, corn, sorghum and soybeans in Kansas in 2011 is more than 1.77 billion dollars, based on a comparison of current U.S. Department of Agriculture production estimates and average historic production.
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The Kansas Department of Agriculture is offering emergency drought term permits to additional counties as conditions worsen. Additionally, certain motor carrier regulations remain suspended to allow hay to be moved to drought-stricken areas faster.
“We want to be flexible and do our part to help Kansas farmers and ranchers deal with this severe drought,” Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman said. “We have learned as a new administration that there are ways we can work with the U.S.D.A and other agencies to ease the burden on producers. Our goal is to take what we’ve learned to respond swiftly to address producers concerns now and in the future.”
In response to Governor Brownback’s recent request for federal assistance for additional drought-stricken counties, the Department of Agriculture has extended the Drought Emergency Term Permit option to water right holders in Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Elk, Ellsworth, Greenwood, Labette, Linn, Lyon, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties.
The one-time, drought-focused term permit allows holders of existing water rights the flexibility to borrow a portion of next year’s authorized quantity in order to complete the 2011 growing season.
Additional information about the drought emergency term permit, including application forms, can be found on the 2011 Drought Options webpage. Program enrollment ends on December 31, 2011 and water right holders must apply for this program prior to exceeding the quantity of water authorized by their water right(s). There have been 903 drought emergency term permit applications as of September 14.
With the addition, qualifying counties include Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Edwards, Elk, Ellis, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Labette, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Logan, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morton, Neosho, Ness, Norton, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Rush, Russell, Sedgwick, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Wichita, Wilson, and Woodson counties.
The drought has also significantly limited forage options for livestock producers. On July 28, Gov. Brownback signed Executive Order 11-25 temporarily suspending certain motor carrier rules and regulations in order to expedite efforts to transport hay to livestock in drought-stricken areas.
There is an online hay and pasture exchange in Kansas to better connect those who have hay and pasture with those who do not. People can list hay or pasture available or their hay or pasture needs on the exchange found at http://www.kfb.org/hayandpasture/default.htm. The exchange is not a broker but rather is set up to connect individual parties who communicate directly to negotiate acceptable hay prices or pasture rates. The Hay and Pasture Exchange is a joint effort of Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas State University Research and Extension. You do not have to be a Farm Bureau member to use the exchange.
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