Lingering heat, drought impact fall harvest for Kansas farmers

Farmers work to get crops out of their fields as one of the hottest summers on record comes to a close.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As one of the hottest summers on record closes, Kansas farmers are working to get their crops out of their fields. With yields significantly lower due to heat and extended drought, farmers hope for conditions to change soon.

Near Clearwater, third-generation farmer Max Tjaden was able to wrap up his corn harvest last week. He’s no stranger to a tough growing season.

“(The harvest in) 2011-2012 was the worst for m in my memory. This one’s definitely getting the silver medal for it,” he said.

The yields this year paled in comparison to corn harvests in recent years. Tjaden estimates the turnout this year is about half of what he usually sees. Fellow farmers echo the frustration.

Low water meant conservation. This was arguably the biggest culprit behind the results, the farmers said of the ongoing drought’s impact on the harvest.

With the fall season officially arriving Thursday and planting set to start for winter wheat, Tjaden hopes for more substantial rainfall.

“Unless we get some significant rain, it’s not going to do very well,” he said.