No Relief From Heat, Drought in Sight

Kansas Viewpoint

July expected to close out with 21 days above 100 degrees, worsening drought conditions

Published on: July 28, 2012

I think we may have missed the Rapture and all of us still here in Kansas have been left behind in Hell.

It’s 104 degrees right now with 108 in the forecast for tomorrow. We had what was supposed to be “break” yesterday with the high topping out at “only” 98 after a streak of 10 straight days above 100 degrees.

In July so far, Wichita has had only one day, the 9th, where the high was below 95 degrees. Add in the fact that we ended June with 7 straight days above 100 degrees and have gotten only .26 inches of rain in July and it’s easy to see why the U.S. Drought Monitor has almost all of Kansas in some shade of red.

Watering has gotten to the point of seeming futile; vegetation is dying spite of everything we can do and most of the trees are beginning to lose leaves.

I’m hanging in there with the Bio-Forge stress treatment that Stoller Products was kind enough to offer up for attempting to keep my little Maple sapling alive. I was surprised the poor thing survived last year’s 53 days of 100-plus with virtually no rain. It is now the healthiest looking tree in the yard and I’m mixing up Bio-Forge solution to water my other shrubs and trees.

It will be interesting to attend U.S. Ag Associates meeting next January and see what kind of reports row crop farmers and orchard managers have on products that helped them weather the current drought.

And I’m looking forward to any reports coming up next month at Ag Media Summit in Albuquerque on water optimization products that are certainly getting a good opportunity for testing in severe drought that has hit the corn belt.

Last year both Monsanto and Pioneer were testing water-optimizing corn in western and southern Kansas where brutal heat and drought killed just about every stalk of dryland corn. This year, they got a chance to see how it would do in Illinois and Iowa, where rainfall is usually easily sufficient to provide a corn harvest.

What we are seeing is a repeat of what they learned last year: you can engineer corn to live a little longer on less water. But nothing grows with no water at all.