Agriculture
5:09 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

June's Heavy Rainfall Both Helps And Hurts Kansas Crops

Credit United Soybean Board / Flickr Creative Commons

Heavy rainfall has finally come to many parts of Kansas. For some crops, it’s provided a needed boost, but for others, it’s too much and too late.

An average of 7.2 inches of rain fell over Kansas in June - 78 percent higher than normal for the month. According to Mary Knapp, a climatologist at Kansas State University, that could help save some harvests.

“Basically we've gotten a reprieve, particularly for spring planted crops. That would be corn, beans and sorghum, in particular,” she says.

It’s a different story for wheat, however. Heavy rainfall has kept producers off their fields and spurred the growth of weeds.

As of the first of July, only 40 percent of Kansas wheat has been harvested, well behind the 66 percent average of years past.

Knapp also says that rainfall hasn’t spread evenly.

“There are places where there was too much water. It came very quickly and instead of getting the three inches over three days, you get it over 30 minutes,” Knapp explains. ‘And there are places out in western Kansas that have missed out [on the rain] completely.”

Over 80 percent of Kansas is still under some level of drought; Knapp says it’s too early to predict corn, soybean and sorghum harvests, but producers should hope for moderate rain and moderate temperatures in July and August.  

Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter, @SeanSandefur