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Next Generation Farming

Intense Heat, Drought Preventing Milo Emergence

Intense Heat, Drought Preventing Milo Emergence
Heat and drought are reducing chances for milo crop to emerge

As if the drought and heat wave hasn't caused enough concern for the corn crop in the Midwest, the feed situation might get even uglier here in western Kansas where much of the milo crop is struggling to survive or even germinate.

Temperatures here in Lane County, Kan., have pushed as high as 111 degrees F. Elsewhere in western Kansas, temps have been even higher, with Hill City, Kan., reaching 114 degrees F.

A field of milo planted last week of May--about two weeks ahead of schedule.

With the topsoil rated 78% short-to-very-short in west-central Kansas, according to Kansas Ag Statistics, newly planted milo fields still have yet to germinate – and likely won't until it rains. And, as the saying goes, a trend is more likely to continue than to change. The forecast for more intense heat and wind next week only helps prove that point.  

Milo crops planted earlier than normal this year, however, might have a different story than the fields currently being planted into dust. Thanks to the unseasonably mild spring, we planted 2-3 weeks earlier than normal this year, allowing us to take advantage of what little moisture we had in the last half of May before it disappeared. These fields have already produced a stand and, as a consequence, might have a better chance of making it to harvest. Should the worst case scenario unfold – a continuation of the heat/drought into the fall – we'll at least have a small stand of milo in place to prevent fields from blowing this winter.

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