Governor’s tour sees KS drought up close

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Beaumont —

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback toured three drought stricken counties in southwest Kansas on Wednesday.
Gov. Brownback met with residents and community leaders in Morton, Stevens and Seward counties.
“There’s been less rainfall this year than in the peak of the 1930s Dust Bowl with the same heat and wind.  Hats off to the producers for being such good stewards,” Gov. Brownback said.

“These below normal precipitation patterns continue across much of Kansas – depleting available soil moisture and stream flow conditions. The situation is serious.  This  tour will help us gather information about the drought’s impact.”
Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman, Kansas Water Office Director and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team Tracy Streeter were part of the governor’s tour group.

Issues discussed during the community meetings in Elkhart, Hugoton, and Liberal  included insurance concerns; water law and possible changes to it; five year flex accounts; and drought emergency term permits that are available.
“Witnessing the conditions firsthand and visiting with affected farmers, ranchers and local officials is important in identifying what the state can do to help,” said Streeter.

“In addition to the effects on agriculture, I am interested in ensuring the public water supply needs continue to be met for our local communities coping with this drought.”
The group also met with Morton County farmer Bill Light and toured his family owned farm to see firsthand drought’s impact.

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