ISSUE DATE: 10/15/2012
By Doug Rich
Farmers who use irrigation are facing tough decisions after experiencing back-to-back years of severe drought.
"The irrigated acres have been a real disaster for us because we just couldn't pump enough water to sustain the crops," Keith Miller, a farmer from Great Bend, Kan., said. "Typically we get a little rain through the summer, but the last two years we have not gotten any of those rains."
At his farm Miller said he had received less than 7.5 inches of rain for the year by the middle of September. Normally he would have received nearly 20 inches of moisture by that time.
Miller said the yield on his irrigated corn was around 100 bushels an acre, which is 50 to 60 bushels below normal. Miller said that in addition to the drought, high temperatures at pollination time hurt yields. The daytime temperatures were over 110 degrees when his corn started to pollinate. They kept their irrigation wells running but it did not help.
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