Sluggish start for Kansas corn planting due to drought

A Western Kansas farmer says record drought has slowed corn planting in his state.

Rick Schlender tells Brownfield farmers usually plant a good portion of the crop in early April. “The first week or five or six days, we say a good amount of corn going in, but now we are sitting back waiting for that moisture even to come.”

He says there’s some topsoil moisture but no subsoil moisture. “We’re probably marginal as far as getting corn up consistently without having to water it up.”

Schlender says conservation practices helped conserve moisture. “We had a lot of stirp till that took place in the fall and the winter.  Some of those still have moisture in it. I think most of what was planted was in strip till. Not too much was planted into tilled ground.”

He says there wasn’t much snow this winter, and the latest US Drought Monitor shows is area remains in exceptional drought.

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