Is the rain hurting or helping?

HOISINGTON, Kansas - Rainfall in central Kansas has measured from less than an inch to more than five inches over the past few days, but it’s not enough to change city drought plans.

“One or two good rains is not going to turn that around, we’re gonna need a longer period of above average rainfall in order to get the aquifer recharged,” says Hays City Manager, Toby Dougherty.

Although the rain isn’t enough to put a dent in the drought, it’s helping farmers a lot with the summer crops like corn and soybeans.

“Like this alfalfa field we’ve cut the first cutting off of it, and it was probably a third of what our normal production would be and this rain will help us get a pretty good second cutting now so it’s a really big deal for the alfalfa,” says Dean Stoskopf, a farmer and rancher near Hoisington.

The rain has given a good start to the summer crop, but it’s also greened up pastures and filled up ponds for cattle who have also been stressed during the drought.

The rain has also kept ranchers from selling their cattle.

“I think the people that have had to sell are pretty well down to survival mode on that, but this will definitely help us keep the herds together,” said Stoskopf.

The rain is helping the summer crop, but it will make wheat harvest more difficult.

“The downside is we’re getting close enough to harvest now that the thin wheat the weeds will probably start coming and the short wheat and weeds it will become more and more of a challenge to harvest it here in a couple of weeks,” said Stoskopf.

Farmers say, while the summer crops are off to a good start, more rain will be needed over the next few months to keep them in good condition.

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