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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Drought threatens wheat crop

  • Sumner County farmers are facing the possibility of having a poor crop this year after having had two very good crops in a row.
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  • By James Jordan
    The Wellington Daily News
    Sumner County farmers are facing the possibility of having a poor crop this year after having had two very good crops in a row.
    The drought, along with the heat, has kept the crop down this year, county extension agent  Randy Hein said.
    “There will be some wheat, but it is falling apart more every day,” he said.
    This year yields may be more in the area of 15-20 bushels per acre, as opposed to the 50 or more farmers enjoyed last year.
    It does look like a bad year, but Hein said if you took the last two years and averaged the three together, it would still be above the county average.
    The county has also been declared part of a disaster area, though not directly.   The U.S. Dept of Agriculture has declared five counties disaster areas due to anticipated production loses due to the drought. Sedgwick County is part of it, and Sumner is included because it is a neighboring county.
    Hein said he has seen better crops in Sedgwick county, so he thought Sumner could have been included in the core group.
    If there is some rain over the next couple of weeks, it could improve the crop some, but Hein doesn’t think it would improve it a lot. Late rains last year bailed out farmers and they still had a good crop.
    Being part of the disaster area qualifies farmers for emergency loans.
    Sumner County is one of four primary counties in another disaster area declared by the Small Business Administration Small non-farm businesses will qualify for low interest federal disaster loans as well.
    On Average, Wellington gets eight inches of rain through April. This year there had been just over two inches through April so far this year.
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