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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kansas and South Dakota winter wheat severely damaged by drought

National Farmers Organization

News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, Communications Director
528 Billy Sunday Road, Ames, IA 50010
For Immediate Release

Persistent Drought Worries Producers

KANSAS CITY, Mo., January 30, 2013 — At National Farmers Connect to Profit Convention in Kansas City, Tuesday, Senior Grain Marketing Analyst Pete Lorenz spoke about severe drought conditions gripping the nation’s farm lands.

"We see real risk for production problems this coming year in wheat, and in some corn areas, because of the drought," Lorenz said. “In Kansas, where I live, the state’s wheat crop is in the poorest condition it has been in 50 years. And I’ve heard South Dakota hasn’t seen crop conditions this poor in history,” Lorenz emphasized.

Weather condition and potential crop losses could lead to extreme market volatility. And it makes marketing plans that much more of a necessity. A combination of all risk management tools, options, forward contracts and other marketing strategies will be needed this year. The crop insurance sign up deadline is March 15 for spring-planted crops.

With inadequate subsoil moisture in western Kansas, Lorenz has heard reports of people digging six feet down, without finding moisture — encountering nothing but dust. This puts spring-planted crops at severe risk. “It will take several rain events to replenish topsoil and subsoil levels," according to Lorenz.

Last year, wheat began growing in February because warm weather came early. “Once the wheat comes out of dormancy this year, if we don’t receive rain in two to four weeks, there could be a serious problem,” he said.

Additionally, National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent Chris Webb pointed out crop insurance is a win-win for consumers and producers. Even with the 2012 drought, government made no major disaster outlays last year, despite the historic drought.

Lorenz is presenting to grain growers in Kansas City this week during National Farmers Connect to Profit Convention, at AG CONNECT Expo and Summit.

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