drought

Southeastern Colorado Drought
8:00 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Recent rains are too little too late for ranchers

Credit winterlivestock.com

Many Colorado cattle ranchers are beginning to recover from the drought, but for many the rain is too little and too late.

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6:41 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Farmers hoping for more rain

Lead in text: 
More rain could turn things around for farmers, but if the weather turns hot and dry, it could be a repeat of last year.
Some Oklahoma farmers say there's "cautious optimism" that patchy rains this summer will make a dent in the drought afflicting much of the state and help
Read More: http://kgou.org
Cattle
8:01 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cattle move north for water

After years of drought, the central and northern Plains have seen a rise in cattle feedlots.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. cattle herd has changed dramatically over the last four years, largely thanks to drought.

The supply of beef has been in free-fall. Perhaps you’ve noticed sky-high prices for hamburger and steak.

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Beef & Drought
8:01 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Drought re-shaping the cattle map

Cattle come to Van Housen Feed Yard to be fattened up before heading to one of the nearby meat packing plants. Drought in beef states like Texas and Oklahoma has led to growth feedlots in Nebraska.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Listen to Grant's story.

Drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving herds from California to Colorado and from Texas to Nebraska seeking refuge from dry weather. And cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.

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Wheat
8:01 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Drought hammers winter wheat across the Plains

Farmer Jim Haarberg of Imperial, Neb., compares the heads of wheat from two different stalks to demonstrate the stunting effects of drought.
Ariana Brocious/Harvest Public Media

Much of the Midwest and the Plains have been battling drought for years. And the current winter wheat crop looks like it will be one of the worst in recent memory, stressing farmers in the heart of the Wheat Belt – from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

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Opinion
8:00 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Kansas farmer sounds off on crop insurance and farm policy

Credit hutchpost.com

As our present multi-year drought grinds on and on, I’m beginning to wonder if we missed the point—by a country mile—in our current farm policy.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Drought takes its toll on the plains and the Gulf

Fish die off at Galveston Bay
Credit wrecklessfaith.com

The drought is hammering fields, pastures, the Ogallala Aquifer, and Galveston Bay?  StateImpact Texas reported researchers suspect drought is causing the massive fish die off.  Millions of shad have washed ashore recently.

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Weather
8:00 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Rains improved drought conditions only in SW Oklahoma

The May 27th update of the U.S. Drought Monitor showing some improvement in southwest Oklahoma.
Credit U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR

Oklahoma experienced very wet weather recently.  That seems to have improved drought conditions, but only in the southwest according to the latest updates from The U.S. Drought Monitor noted a recent article by StateImpact Oklahoma

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Weather
8:00 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Abundant rains in NW Kansas not alleviating drought

Credit forgetmenotmmm.blogspot.com

Thomas County had the most rain in the state of Kansas this month, but overall, it’s not alleviating the drought according to the Garden City Telegram.

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California cattle on sale
8:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Drought still taking toll on ranchers, beef prices

Drought has many California ranchers culling their herds and ranchers in other western states are taking advantage.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

California ranchers, despite near-record beef prices, are shrinking their cattle herds in response to one of the most severe droughts the state has ever faced, and many Western ranchers are taking advantage.

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Kansas Drought
8:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Over half of Kansas counties placed on Drought Declaration

The Arkansas River has been dry for years south of Garden City, Kansas.
Credit paralleluniverse38n.blogspot.com

More than half of Kansas counties were placed on the updated Drought Declaration by Gov. Sam Brownback this week.  105 counties are either in an emergency, warning or watch status according to the Hays Daily News.

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Drought
8:00 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Drier than the Dust Bowl

A lone cow stands by a dried up pond near Wiley, Colorado.
Credit wodumedia.com

Millard Fowler is a centenarian from the panhandle of Oklahoma.  He remembers the 1930s when he was a young, newly married farmer. 

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Data analysis gives clue
8:00 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Drought: Cyclic or foreshadowing?

Cracked earth on the Texas High Plains
Credit southwestfarmpress.com

Increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation may not be cyclic.  Dr. B.A. “Bob” Stewart recently released an analysis of data from 1895-2013 for the Texas High Plains.  He found the area is getting warmer and drier, and the recent drought is not a temporary state according to a study by Dr. Stewart for WTAMU.

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Higher temperatures create more water stress
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Drought sensitivity could reduce corn yields for years to come

Corn yields could fall 15 to 30 percent—unless new varieties or agronomic techniques can offset the trend.
Credit JOHN STANMEYER, VII / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Corn plants in the United States have become more drought sensitive, not less.  Yields have continued to increase because seed companies have developed genetic improvements allowing higher planting density.  Drought sensitivity could drive yields down in the years to come unless companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, and DuPont successfully develop varieties that thrive in drought reported the National Geographic.

Rain and temperature forecast
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

El Niño is on the way, and that could be good news for the Texas Panhandle

Don't expect a lot of rain this summer in much of Texas. And beyond that, if an El Nino comes in the fall, it might not be the savior we expect.
Chris Coleman StateImpact Texas

Forecasters say it looks like El Niño will reappear this fall.  That usually means more rain for Texas, but one meteorologist says it will have mixed results in the Lone Star State reported StateImpact Texas.

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5:40 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Drought hammers the breadbasket

Lead in text: 
Wheat futures are up on the Chicago Board of Trade, but this year's wheat crop is getting battered by the drought.
WICHITA, Kan.-Agricultural economist Josh Roe walked into a dusty wheat field on this city's outskirts this week and spotted trouble. The ground was cracked, and the wheat plants were only half their normal size for this stage of the season.
5:10 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Film documents OK Panhandle ranch life

Lead in text: 
Filming is almost complete on a documentary that follows the ranching family of Jane and Bob Apple of Kenton, Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Panhandle is one of the most remote areas of the Sooner State, but a documentary film in production may shed some light on issues residents are facing. "Lone Man's Land" follows a family as they struggle to keep the ranching life alive in the face of rising costs.
Agriculture
8:00 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Drought and late April frost could decimate western Oklahoma wheat harvest

Western OK wheat field April, 2014.
Credit osuwheat.com

Drought and a late April freeze could produce the worst wheat harvest in decades for the western part of Oklahoma history reported The Oklahoman

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It's a mixed bag
8:00 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

What is drought doing to beef prices?

Credit The Texas Tribune

Texas is the nation’s biggest beef-producing state, and as the state enters the fourth year of drought, ranchers, consumers, and grocers are feeling the effects reported The Texas Tribune.

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Drought
8:00 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Drought area expands across the high plains

Credit droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Drought conditions expanded in the central and southern Plains where winter wheat is struggling to grow according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report released this week.

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drought
8:00 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Western Kansas drought scars run deep

On normal years, thousands of acres of crops receive supplemental irrigation water from the Amazon Ditch. But Ditch Superintendent Dan Maxfield hasn't made a call for water from John Martin Reservoir in Colorado. There's none to be had.
Amy Bickel kansasagland.com

Even if you had no idea western Kansas was in the midst of a long-term drought, the scars are hard to miss.  Corrals and roads are drifted with tumbleweeds.  Irrigation ditches are bone dry.  Fence rows are filled with drifted sand, and grass in the pastures has disappeared according to a recent article from Kansas Agland.  

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Winter Watering

Credit masterofhort.com

A trip to the county extension office for a botanical diagnosis of a sickly tree branch paid off with reassurance that all was well.  While I was there I was also served up a refresher course in wise watering practices for our consistently dry and thirsty area.  We reviewed some things I knew about, but am sometimes lax in following.  And I learned a thing or two about making every precious drop of moisture count, even when rainfall is skimpy.   

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Tumbleweeds are thriving and causing problems

Tumbleweeds are causing problems in Texas and New Mexico. Here they are piled high in eastern El Paso County, Texas
Credit koaa.com

There might not be enough rain for pastures, but in the Panhandle of Texas tumbleweeds are thriving.  The Amarillo Globe-News reported some serious issues in Dallam and Hartley counties.

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Precipitation & Drought
8:01 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Early season snowpack looks promising for drought-stressed rivers

2014 hasn't brought much snow for the western half of the U.S. so far. But there are a few pockets on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide showing above average levels.
Credit PRISM Climate Group/Oregon State University

Midwest farmers that depend on recently drought-stressed rivers like the Platte, Republican, Niobrara, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi received some good news this week, along with Rocky Mountain skiers.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Expert Worries Current Conditions Will Destroy Oklahoma’s Cattle Market

Credit oklahomafarmreport.com

Oklahoma ranks number five in the nation when it comes to the number of cattle, but years of drought and high market prices are fueling a sell-off, and experts worry that the $4.5 billion dollar industry is in a downward spiral that will be difficult to recover from according to an article from StateImpact Oklahoma.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Good News on the Colorado Drought Front

Credit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Drought conditions have been downgraded for portions of eastern Colorado.  

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Environment
8:01 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

High Yield, Water Efficient Wheat

The wheat plot on the right in Dr. Qingwu Xue’s drought tolerance study will produce more biomass and will have a higher yield under drought conditions than the plot on the left.
Credit Texas A&M AgriLife Research / Dr. Qingwu Xue

Drought tolerance in wheat has been increased through breeding over the years, but a group of Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists in Amarillo wanted to determine what plant physiological characteristics were making the biggest difference.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:35 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

2012 Drought Pinches Popcorn Sellers

U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory.
Quentin Hope

U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory. Crops not irrigated were decimated and low supplies continue to force local candy shops and giant movie theater chains alike to pay high prices for the golden grain, biting into their profit margin.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

High Plains Drought Update: Late October Rains Helped Oklahoma Panhandle

Credit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Dry conditions continue across the High Plains listening region.  Rain in southern Kansas slightly improved the abnormally dry conditions.  Heavy rains on October 26 improved conditions in the Oklahoma panhandle according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  

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Agriculture
12:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'

A test field of sorghum outside Manhattan, Kan., planted by Kansas State University.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:07 pm

Much of the world is turning hotter and dryer these days, and it's opening new doors for a water-saving cereal that's been called "the camel of crops": sorghum. In an odd twist, this old-fashioned crop even seems to be catching on among consumers who are looking for "ancient grains" that have been relatively untouched by modern agriculture.

Sorghum isn't nearly as famous as the big three of global agriculture: corn, rice and wheat. But maybe it should be. It's a plant for tough times, and tough places.

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