Governor Leads Drought Tour of SW Kansas
KSCB News - May 4, 2011 4:45 pm
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback traveled to southwest Kansas today to lead a tour of drought-impacted areas. Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman and Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter joined the Governor on the tour that included Finney, Haskell, Gray and Meade Counties.
Drought indicators show precipitation in southwestern and western Kansas has been significantly below normal for the year, which also has considerably increased the risk of fire in those counties.
“Farmers and ranchers in dozens of Kansas counties are experiencing production losses caused by drought, wildfires and high winds. That’s beginning to impact companies they do business with. It is important for us to see the impact first hand and talk to those directly affected," Gov. Brownback said. "We want to have a clear understanding of what’s happening and how the state can assist these communities in the coming months."
###The 21 counties included in the Governor’s request to the USDA are: Finney, Gove, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Wallace and Wichita
The 20 counties included in the Governor’s Drought Warning Declaration* are: Finney, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Gove, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Scott, Seward, Stanton, Stevens, Trego, Wallace, and Wichita
The 27 counties included in the Governor’s Drought Watch Declaration* are: Barton, Cheyenne, Clark, Cloud, Decatur, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Graham, Hodgeman, Jewel, Lincoln, Mitchell, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Republic, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Sherman, Sheridan, Smith, and Thomas
*The Governor’s drought orders authorize and direct all agencies under his jurisdiction to implement the appropriate watch or warning level-drought response actions assigned in the Operations Plan of the Governor’s Drought Response Team.
Gov. Sam Brownback says drought conditions in southwest Kansas are more extreme than he could have imagined.
The governor made that assessment after spending Wednesday touring the region from the ground and air.
He pledged the state will do all it can to help farmers and ranchers coping with what some call the driest conditions in more than 40 years.
Rainfall in southwest Kansas has been about two-thirds of normal since last summer. The region did get about one inch of rain in recent days, but that won’t be much help for many wheat producers.
Farmers told Brownback the wheat that has emerged on dryland acreage is in poor condition. Irrigation helps, but the crop suffers without supplemental rains.