Here’s how this year’s drought has battered the Midwest — and what it might mean for next year

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Next year, Millershaski said, his family is considering switching some of their acres to crops that might be even more drought-tolerant, such as cotton or sunflowers. But for these rows of wheat already in the ground, there’s not much else he can do.

He picks up one of the seedlings and shields it from the wind. A short scraggly root dangles below.

These baby plants are holding on for now. Barely.

But if his farm doesn’t get some relief from the dry, windy conditions, they’re not gonna make it.

“That’s what makes it frustrating,” Millershaski said. “You can do everything right, and the weather is just so extreme right now. It’s just tough.”

David Condos covers western Kansas for High Plains Public Radio and the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @davidcondos.

Xcaret Nuñez and Elizabeth Rembert contributed this report, a collaboration between Harvest Public Media and the Kansas News Service.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of High Plains Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and KMUW focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.

Harvest Public Media is a collaboration of public media newsrooms in the Midwest. It reports on food systems, agriculture and rural issues.



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