Farmers across the High Plains faced a number of weather challenges in 2022. The wheat crop got off to a slow start last fall due to dry conditions. The winter did not provide any significant moisture either. We were blessed with one or two timely rains in the spring that allowed producers to cut an average wheat crop. In far western Kansas, a significant number of acres were never harvested due to the severe drought.
The spring planted crops have not fared much better due to the continued drought, intense heat and higher than normal temperatures at night. High nighttime temperatures induce a plant to mature sooner than normal. This shorter maturity window does not allow a crop to produce to its highest potential. Irrigators struggled to supply their crop with enough water, and dryland crops suffered significant stress. Yields are generally down across our area, and dryland yields are down significantly.
We have however, been blessed with higher commodity prices. Lower production usually leads to higher prices. This is helping to soften the blow of not being able to grow as many bushels. Dry conditions also led to less forage production. We are seeing shortages of hay across a wide area.
Although it has been a tough year, our farmers and ranchers in our community are proving their mettle once again. We are blessed to have such resilient neighbors who are more than capable and willing to do what is necessary to produce the food and fiber that we all sometimes take for granted. Weather cycles continually change, and we look forward to the return of beneficial rain and snowfall. We want to thank all our Ag Producers that help keep our community and economy strong.