Farmers struggle during times of extreme heat and drought - KCTV5

Farmers struggle during times of extreme heat and drought

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LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

Farmers are struggling to provide the same quality of harvest they used to when they're also battling extreme heat and drought. 

In rural Leavenworth County, Stephen Tuttle round bails hay. Fields like his are a rarity in the region because there are hundreds of acres of hay.

"They're really short hay, we've even sold hay to clear far away as Texas this year," said Tuttle.

On this day, Tuttle Farms works the hay fields because they can and because they have to. While some of Tuttle's fields are plentiful, others are impoverished.

"It's been a tale of two cities. We've got flooding in the Missouri River bottoms and you go west of Kansas City 50 or 100 miles and they're in a severe drought right now - some of the crops are completely gone," said Tuttle.

During a recent meeting with Governor Brownback, Tuttle and some other farmers were promised state assistance. With the heat and the drought, Governor Brownback has told them it's the worse the area's seen in nearly a century.

"He said parts of southwest Kansas are in a more severe drought than back even in the 1930s. Some places have had less than one to two inches of rain in a year's time," said Tuttle.

With corn prices at 6.50 a bushel and acres suffering, Tuttle says shopper's grocery bill will increase. Just how much it will increase still remains to be seen. To save a harvest in this drought, farmers have to do what farmers do best – adapt.

"It's not too good on the crop growth and they seem hard on the cattle but like the old expression is, make hay while the sun shines," said Tuttle. "It's summertime in Kansas, you just deal with it."

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