Lessons Learned: How past drought years are helping Midwestern producers prepare for the growing season

Despite the recent rainfall, Kansas and Missouri producers are still in a drought, but they are taking the lessons they learned last year to get them through.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has both states facing anywhere from abnormal to severe drought levels, marking similar if not worse conditions compared to last year heading into the growing season.

In 2023, almost 30% of the total wheat crop planted in Kansas was abandoned. That’s the highest amount since 1951.

Many cattle producers in Missouri had to cull and sell off herds due to the lack of forage. Missouri’s governor has extended the drought alert and will allow farmers to use hay designated fields and pump water from lakes at public parks. The state’s Department of Agriculture will also operate the state hay directory again in case of low yields.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does expect drought conditions to improve though for the two states through the summer.

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