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Dry soil

Drought resources

Research-based information to help Kansans cope with dry conditions

March 16, 2018



Update (Sept. 17)

News release

Late summer rain eased drought in parts of Kansas, but northeast counties still dry

Drought continues to plague northeast Kansas, but much of the rest of the state found relief in August and early September rainfall. K-State is expanding its network of weather stations to better monitor and record such information as precipitation, wind speed and soil moisture.



Update (July 23)

Agronomy e-Update article:

Stressed corn: Formula for estimating corn yield potential



Update (July 13)

Conservation program specialist Rod Winkler of the Farm Service Agency announces that 43 counties in Kansas have now been released for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres, because of ongoing drought… producers in eligible counties can apply starting Monday. 



Update (July 11)

K-State beef systems specialist Jaymelynn Farney talks about salvaging drought-stressed corn as cattle feed:  in what form does that corn best serve as a forage feedstuff, what guidelines need to be followed in processing it, and what nutrient value it provides to the cow herd. - Agriculture Today audio (subscribe to the podcast)



Update (July 10)

Agricultural program specialist Blaine Rutherford of the Farm Service Agency covers the details of three USDA programs designed to assist livestock producers who are rebounding from various disasters over the past couple of years, including drought, wildfire and blizzards...the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, which provides compensation to producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought; and the Livestock Indemnity Program, which provides benefits to producers who have lost livestock to adverse weather. - Agriculture Today audio (subscribe to the podcast)


News Release:

Study looks at cows’ adaptability to drought, heat stress

K-State researchers have established testing guidelines for water intake, an important step that could one day help producers select cattle that are more resistant to drought and heat stress.



Update (July 5)

State horticulturist Ward Upham goes over the proper ways of watering drought-stressed landscape trees in mid-summer. - Agriculture Today audio; skip to the 33:02 mark (subscribe to the podcast)



Update (July 3)

K-State crop production specialist Ignacio Ciampitti talks about assessing the condition of corn stands stressed by drought and heat...he says that a thorough evaluation should be conducted before making decisions on whether to go ahead and take that corn crop to grain, or to salvage it as silage or forage. - Agriculture Today audio (subscribe to the podcast)



UPDATE (May 8):

Providing adequate water to the cow herd this summer, in light of the drought and the shortage of pond and stream water - Agriculture Today audio (subscribe to the podcast)


UPDATE (May 7): 

Developing a drought management plan for cattle on summer grass, should the extremely dry weather continue (segment begins at the 11:29 mark in the episode) - Agriculture Today audio (subscribe to the podcast)


UPDATE (April 23):
Two new articles were posted on the Extension Agronomy eUpdate site:


UPDATE (April 18):
Livestock watering in a drought - Agriculture Today audio (subscribe to the podcast)

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer on March 13 issued a drought declaration for all 105 counties in Kansas due to persistent dry conditions.

All counties are at least in watch status, with many of the southwest, central and south-central counties in emergency status.

The Kansas Water Office serves as the coordinating agency for drought response. More information on these and other resources and activities can be found on their web page: www.kwo.ks.gov

Note: This is a different URL than has been used in the past, so users should update their bookmarks

K-State Research and Extension has an array of informational materials available to help Kansans deal with drought conditions.

The College of Agriculture’s Agronomy eUpdate newsletter offers timely advice, and users can search through the extensive archives. 

K-State’s Kansas Climate website offers weekly maps and drought reports

Following is a list of helpful publications that are available for download or hard-copy purchase from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.

K-State Research and Extension drought research

Drought-tolerant corn hybrids (2017)

Precipitation Trends and Changes in Drought (2017)

Drought-Tolerant Trees for South-Central Kansas (2015)

Rangeland Management Following Wildfire (2017)

Efficient Crop Water Use in Kansas (2012)

Research Information (this is a search on New Prairie Press on “drought”)

Drought section of KSUBeef.org Feed and Water page:

Beef Cow-Calf Management Options When Pasture is Limited 

Drought and stocking adjustments on range and pasture

Drought and water concerns for cattle producers

Drought options for watering livestock and adding water sites to farm ponds

Managing Cows in Confinement


Extension Materials:

Blue Green Algae (this could be another bad year for toxic algae)

Identification and Management of Blue-green Algae in Farm Ponds (2012)

Nontraditional Forages as Emergency or Supplemental Feedstuffs (2008)


State Records of Temperature, Precipitation, and Snowfall over 1895 to 2015: Kansas Climate Basics (2017)

National Weather Service Forecasts: Serving Agriculture (2017)


Buffalograss Lawns (2014)

How to Hire an Irrigation Contractor (2013)
(includes information on water-saving products)

Basic Principles of Water Management (2008)

Drip Irrigation for Community Gardens (2014)

Growing Growers: Drip Irrigation Basics (2016)



Waterers and Watering Systems: A Handbook for Livestock Producers and Landowners (2007)

Alternative Livestock Watering: Covered Concrete Waterer (2006)

Beef Cow-Calf Management Options When Pasture is Limited (2014)


Emergency Wind Erosion Control (2013) 

Principles of Wind Erosion and its Control (2009)


Waterwise series

Watering Newly Planted and Young Trees and Shrubs (2008)

Watering Established Trees and Shrubs (2008)

Watering Established Lawns (2008)

Watering New Lawns (2008)

Watering Vegetable and Flower Gardens (2008)

Watering Raised Beds, Berms, Containers, and Houseplants (2008)

Drought resources via the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN)

U.S. Drought Monitor

Dealing with Drought (Iowa State, 2017)

North Dakota Drought page

Texas A&M AgriLife drought page

University of California drought page

Hay exchange (many states):