Kansas Wheat Farmers Facing Delays Due To Heavy Flooding
Unusually heavy rainfall this spring in the nation’s Heartland, is causing delays in the wheat harvest. The Kansas wheat harvest, in years past was at a high level of production by the middle of June. That was then and this is now, which leaves many farmers struggling, due to weather events. The ‘Kansas Wheat Commission’ which monitors everything relating to wheat farming, says that as of last Sunday only 1% of the wheat in Kansas has been harvested. In 2018. 20% of the wheat in the state had been harvested by mid June. This has been the wettest May in Kansas, since records have been taken, there therefore the wettest in Kansas history. Kansas got 10.26 inches of rain in May alone.
The USDA is reporting that last year at this time, over 60% of the wheat crops were mature, this year it is only about 20%. According to Jeff Seiler, an authority on wheat harvests, with Sedgewick County, said the very unseasonable wet seasons thus far, makes for a very hazardous situation braining heavy machinery into overly wet fields and raises potential hazards. Marsha Boswell a spokesperson for the Wheat Commission, said it’s way to early to estimate any losses. Scott Van Hallen a wheat farmer from Clearwater, Kansas, said he normally is just about done with his harvest at this time of year, but now, he hasn’t even started it yet.
Federal Suit Filed Against Local Officials
Some more bad news for Kansas was made public on Saturday, a federal lawsuit has been filed. Some residents of a neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas filed the suit alleging that businesses and local officials were negligent when dealing with flooding in 2017. The neighborhood in question is the Argentine neighborhood, the suit claims the businesses didn’t safeguard against flood damage. The suit alleges that the businesses, whether on purpose or by accident failed to clean debris, there by causing a drainage creek in the area to be blocked during the rain. Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas.
The plaintiffs are claiming that the debris in question, were not promptly cleared, and caused significant damages to homes and other properties of the named plaintiffs. The suit alleges even after neighbor complaints were lodged about the debris, it still was not cleared away. When a group letter was sent to the defendants then the debris and garbage was cleared, but by that time the extensive damages had already occurred. When asked for a response to the suit, The Unified Government declined to offer any commentary. BNSF Railway is also a named defendant in the suit, they issues a response, ‘saying they had nothing to do with the flooding in the neighborhood, and are not responsible for any damages. Missouri rancher Randy Hoover, also sued BNSF Railway last year, claiming the company was responsible for the deaths of 50 of his cattle that got lost after the flooding there.