Dry Mississippi Symptom of Larger Drought in Heartland

October 22, 2022

Successful Farming:

Almost all of Kansas and nearly half of Missouri are in severe enough drought to activate a federal program meant to help ranchers who have lost grazing acres for their herds, triggering millions of dollars in assistance.

Eighty-five of Kansas’ 105 counties have been eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s livestock forage program, which offers cash assistance to ranchers in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought. In Missouri, 47 counties are eligible as of last week. 

Kansas and Missouri — along with most of the U.S. — are plagued with a stubborn drought that the state’s two governors have declared to be an emergency. Most of southern Kansas is in extreme or exceptional drought. 

Washington Post:

The most recent update to the U.S. Drought Monitor revealed a startling figure: Nearly 82 percent of the country is facing at least abnormally dry conditions — the highest percentage since the drought monitor launched in 2000.

Severe to exceptional drought conditions remain common in the West, which has been battling its driest period in the past 1,200 years. But the drought is now far more widespread, with unusual dryness continuing in parts of the Northeast and expanding extreme drought conditions in the Midwest.

Successful Farming again:

“Every day you go out, and within five minutes your ears, your nose, and your mouth are full of dust,” said Dennis McKinney, state executive director for the Kansas Farm Service Agency and a rancher. “It just gets very discouraging.” 

Kansas has been in drought for months. The livestock forage program has been activated in some counties for nearly a year, and all 105 counties are on a drought watch, warning or emergency under an executive order signed by Gov. Laura Kelly. 

McKinney said ranchers are experiencing severe stress, and his agency is asking county offices to post information about community mental health centers and to prepare to distribute information on the new 9-8-8 suicide and crisis hotline. 

“If you’re struggling, you’re not alone,” he said, “and it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad producer.”

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One Response to “Dry Mississippi Symptom of Larger Drought in Heartland”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Pity for the farmers whose land isn’t in good wind farm territory.


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