“A Tough Situation": Heat and drought delivering a “death blow” to producers

The latest drought monitor was released this morning and shows some improvement and some worsening conditions, just depending on where you are in the country.

The Pacific Northwest, the Northern Plains, and the Mississippi Valley received much-needed rain and cooler temperatures. However, drought expanded in parts of the southwest where a heat wave is passing through. Conditions in California and the Southern Plains remained the same in some parts got even drier.

Between the drought, extreme heat, and high winds, the Southern Plains area cannot seem to catch a break when it comes to crops and livestock.

According to farm broadcaster Tony St. James, “Between the drying out of recent here, the last week and a half, and then when you start dealing with 100 to 110 degree temps combined with wind blowing 35-50 miles per hour, it has definitely dealt a death blow to many acres of cotton.”

St. James says that there are many farms where cotton has simply been blown out of the ground. The litter rainfall the area received was enough to wet the top part of the soil down about four inches, but as the dry wind blows, it does not make a difference. The drought and heat have not been too kind to the wheat harvest either.

“Wheat harvest-- I’ve heard some up to 20 bushels but for the most part six to ten bushels on the wheat. Hard to believe that we would even be cutting that but had the price not been so good we probably would have just walked away from that wheat,” he adds.

Brock Thompson says that he has been receiving reports of thousands of cattle dying from this extreme heat. St. James says that he has not heard those reports widespread yet, and he does not really have any good advice at all for cattle producers.

“At this point, it’s a tough situation and we’ve heard of some producers who’ve been culling. Others holding on so I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next three to four weeks.”


Extreme heat takes a toll on cattle country

Dry days in the Midwest are improving the topsoil moisture

Texas producers continue to feel drought impact