RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- As drought conditions continue to worsen across Kansas, the Department of Agriculture is urging farmers and ranchers to take action to determine how to manage their damaged crops.
State officials say the drought is having significant, devastating impacts on Kansas agriculture and every day the temperature creeps into the triple digits without significant rainfall, it’s making things worse.
"We’re looking at substantial losses, particularly, the early things to see were pasture and hay crops. Most of those were running probably half of normal. It’s also starting to hit some of the fall crops- corn, sorghum, soy beans," explained Lee Hartford with the USDA Farm Service Agency in Manhattan.
Farmers and ranchers are being urged to meet immediately with their crop insurance appraisers. Tammy Copeland-Sharp with Copeland Insurance in Riley, Kansas works with a number of area farmers. She says more and more are coming to file claims for their losses.
"Farmers give their production to us every year of what each farm makes or each section on the farm makes and this is factored in to the previous years that they’ve had and it’s based on a guarantee so they bring me their acres here in the spring after they’ve planted.... If they make less than their guarantee, then that’s when they come in with a claim and then they will pay the difference up to their guarantee," she explained.
Adjusters assess the damage to help farmers recoup what they’ve lost.
As of July 17, all 105 counties in Kansas have received a state drought declaration, 87 counties have been declared federal disaster areas.