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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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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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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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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Texas Climate
8:00 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

15 More Years of Texas Drought? Say it isn’t so

Credit texscience.org

Experts predict above-average temperatures and lower-than-normal moisture amounts will be seen in the months ahead — and possibly as much as 15 more years according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

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8:00 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

High Plains Drought Update

Credit hprcc.unl.edu

Recent rains and cooler temperatures have made a difference across the high plains.

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HPPR Economy and Enterprise
8:43 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

Report criticizes incentives in the Federal Crop Insurance Program

Credit www.nebraska.tv

Farmers across the country received a record breaking 17.3 billion dollars in federal crop insurance payouts after last year’s drought.  While the payments were critical for the financial well-being of farmers, the National Resources Defense Council has issued a report critical of the structure of the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).

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8:00 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Southeastern Colorado: Taking the Long View on a Long Drought

Credit usatoday.com

  Rain and snow have eased most of Colorado's extreme drought conditions, but not southeastern Colorado reported Colorado Public Radio.  And years of drought have taken their toil on the cattle industry.

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8:00 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Cattle Rustling: Oklahoma and Texas up 40%

Credit Steve Ritter

Cattle rustling is up almost 40% this year in Oklahoma and Texas.  State Impact Texas reported there are a number of reasons:

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Drought forecast
8:00 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Drought improvements in August but unlikely in the fall

National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

The High Plains are continuing to benefit from a stalled weather front along lower sections of the central Plains, which is serving as a focus for continued precipitation.  As a result, the monthly drought outlook map from the Climate Prediction Center (see first slide above) shows improvement across the HPPR coverage area though August.

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Drought coverage
7:00 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Texans picture the drought

Lake Colorado City
Earl Notingham, Texas Parks and Wildlife / flickr

Drought conditions are long familiar to the Texas Panhandle and are now becoming well known to other parts of the state.  The most recent drought report from the Texas Water Development Board shows that 97 percent of the state is now experiencing some level of drought.

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8:01 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

High Plains Drought Outlook

Credit cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Recent rains across the High Plains gave hope that the drought’s grip may be lessening.  However, that was quickly extinguished by the extended forecast released by National Weather Service

At a glance, the forecast map shows drought conditions will persist or intensify across the listening region.  The only exception is the extreme western portion of the Texas Panhandle.  The seasonal drought outlook is valid through October 18.

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Playa Country Episode
7:10 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Managed Grazing During Times of Drought

As of early-2013, much of the High Plains region is under extreme or exceptional drought. Ungerer, Crouch and Hagen discuss the significance of enrolling grassland in the NRCS Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.

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8:01 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Dust Storm Deja Vu?

John and Jane Stulp witnessed this massive dust storm approaching their farm near Lamar. Seven such storms have hit the area since November.
Credit Jane Stulp, Special to The Denver Post

Picture this:  A software engineer pulls off Highway 83  because the dirt is so thick he can't see.  Dirt drifts that require a farmer to get the scoop out for the tractor so he can clean up.  A layer of fine dust covers everything in the house, and people huddle in their bed and cover their heads so they can breathe.  Scenes from a Ken Burn's documentary?  No, it's happened seven times over the past few months right here on the high plains. 

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12:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

It Could be a Long Fire Season in Texas

Lead in text: 
In the past few months, red flag warnings for areas of the high plains seem to be in effect more often than not. This summer could hold more of the same.
Major wildfires could occur across the Southwest this year, including in Texas, according to several scientists on a Climate Nexus panel Tuesday. Now that Texas in its third year of drought, the state is likely to experience a longer fire season as a result of dry conditions and rising summer temperatures.
10:58 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Current Drought Conditions on the High Plains

Lead in text: 
The High Plains Regional Climate Center, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, released its updated report ending May 30. Read the status reports directly from the source, as well as links to the seasonal drought outlook, the drought impact report, and individual state statistics.
Large amounts of rain fell in the eastern portion of the High Plains Region this past week. This rain continues to aid in the drought recovery in the Region.
Harvest Public Media story
7:12 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Drought raises stakes on Republican River

The Republican River in Hitchcock County completely dry on July 25th, 2005.
Credit Melissa Widhalm, NDMC

There’s a border war going in the Midwest and it’s over water. Kansas and Nebraska have been battling for years over the water in the Republican River, which runs from Colorado to Kansas, through Nebraska.

Farmers in all three states depend on the Republican River to irrigate their fields and with agriculture such a prominent industry in the Midwest, the water battle amounts to a big deal. Kansas and Nebraska’s current dispute will eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court. And with many farmers dealing with drought and planning for water restrictions, the battle is heating up.

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Growing on the High Plains episode
6:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Rain Barrels

One of the hottest items in lots of gardening catalogues is the rain barrel, proving that 'everything old is new again'.  Throughout history we have found ways to save up rainy day water and then used it during dry times.  Today's offerings can make a fashion statement in your lawn or garden, but there are also some old-fashioned ways of conserving moisture that can provide a drink for thirsty plants.