Rain dance, please!



  • Someone do a rain dance and send the moisture our way (SW Kansas)! If I were to do one I’d just get an uncomfortable sunburn… There are rumblings of thunder in the distance. As I understand the timing of a rain dance has a lot to do with its outcome…Tonight may be the night!

    The wheat crop is still alive somehow after 10+ days of 90 degree weather and a scant 1” of total precipitation since it was planted last October. The best thing for it would be a massive hail storm though, so no combines have to run to cut the poor crop.

    @crimsonorblue22 It’s getting dry enough back at your old stomping ground that the cattlemen are beginning to plan sales. There is very little green grass and no feed available for purchase.



  • @dylans I know they got .80 last night. To lil to late. wheat is worse than last year. I was driving thru the flint hills fri and noticed the ponds were down about 50%. Never saw them dry before.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yes, that rain is a nice start. We are fortunate enough to have a half section of grass that wasn’t grazed last year (because the fence hadn’t been rebuilt from the fire) so last years rent payment is being capitalized upon this season. That’ll only buy us a little time though. A few more inches of rain would be worth $ millions to the country side.



  • Wow, 1" since October? That’s a serious drought even for western Kansas. For some reason droughts play well in the news in moist places like the SE or more populated Texas, but places like Kansas/Nebraska/Oklahoma, who cares I guess is their attitude even though it’s a major agricultural region.

    I’m guessing the Ogallala isn’t used by you for irrigation? I don’t know that much about agriculture so I’d be curious to know.



  • @wissox It’s pretty depressing. We use the Ogallala extensively in this area. There is a little Dakota water as well (it’s very deep 600ft+ down) but it’s not as good of water (salty). Haskell county is a major user of irrigation water. Unfortunately the Ogallala is depleting and the ability to pump enough water out of it is no longer possible in pockets of the county side. Even where the water is still plentiful the cost of pumping the water is pretty high relative to the value of the crops being grown. The farm economy sucks right now. A few growers are trying to get high value crops in the area, so the smaller wells (reduced pumping capacity permanently) can raise a vegetable crop on a small portion of the field and make a good income.

    It takes 4,000 gallons of water to raise one bushel of corn. 11,000 gallons to raise a bushel of wheat. Rain makes grain!!! Aprox. 27.000 gallons of water per acre in an inch of rain.

    Right at my house we got .75” 2 nights ago (nearly doubled our yearly total!), but it was only a limited area that received the beneficial rain.



  • @dylans That’s interesting info that I know little about. I assume a combination of lower snowpack in the Rockies and increased drawing out of the aquifer is leading to its depletion?



  • @wissox No, just that it’s an underground lake with less than .50” recharge per year. And there are too many irrigation wells pulling 24” per year out of it. Basically what each well pumps would take 20-48 years to replace. There isn’t irrigation on each acre thankfully, but there is too much for the recharge rate.

    If Colorado would allow the Arkansas river to flow it would help, but they don’t. There was a period when the Arkansas river flowed for most of the summer and the irrigation wells improved quiet a bit more than you would imagine along that basin. Colorado has too many Californians (and others) that have moved in and they need the water for their burgeoning population.

    The Army corps of engineers has a plan to build aqueducts bringing water back west. The plan was drawn up in the ‘80s and was a $3 billion project back then, so $10-15 billion now? It called for a 10,000 acre lake to be built in NE Kansas - great for rec. Then only when the Missouri River could maintain a navigable flow would water be siphoned off into an aqueduct and pumped uphill thru a series of locks. Ultimately it was to discharge into a creek bed near the Colorado line that has a fault line in it and the creek would only flow a few miles before filtering down to the aquifer. Of course to satisfy the masses it would have to swing by Wichita and allow them to draw water from it as well.

    It sounds horribly expensive, but ultimately the economic impact of that water would pay big dividends.



  • We need an egomancial president whom wants his name attached to something that will have centuries of national impact to get such an ambitious project done. 🤔

    Still a pipe dream, he says tongue in cheek.



  • Another way to imagine the amount of irrigation water being used is: an acre foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre in 12” of water or aprox 325,000 gallons. Each 1/4 section or 4x per square mile that is under irrigation in this area has 320 acre feet of allocated water. 104,000,000 gallons per 1/4 section or 416,000,000 gallons of irrigation water per square mile.

    Again not every acre is irrigated and not every irrigated acre has or uses their full allotment. But it’s a losing battle.



  • Sorry to hear, know about this rain and drought getting really bad - - -AGAIN - -hell maybe I could try and come down to your area and do a little jig couldn’t hurt - -unless I throw something out of place - -maybe I could work up a little rain. - -Seriously though I’m praying for all - -farmers - -everyone we need rain and a lot of it just a nice prolonged gentle rain - -a rain that could soak in you know?



  • Who ever is doing whatever keep it up! Another 1/2” of rain last night. Brings our yearly total up to 1.5-2.25” across the area.

    @Crimsonorblue22 another good rain back in Clark Co. 1.5 to 2” last night. That should green up the country side for a little while. It’s too late for the wheat crop, but the grass will sure perk up.



  • Have an area in my backyard here in Virginia that looks like a swimming pool. Would that I could have sent a days worth of this rain your way.



  • @dylans folks got an inch and a half. 🌊 flood!


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