Drought conditions and the Fourth of July pose a dangerous threat to farmers

JOHNSON COUNTY, Mo. - Hot, dry weather is not just uncomfortable; it's a potential danger for farmers.

Tom Boehm is a farmer in Johnson County near Olathe, Kan. A couple of weeks ago, he harvested one of his wheat fields. The leftover wheat stubble is now dry and brittle because of the heat and lack of rain.

Boehm is worried that one firecracker could set the whole field on fire.

"It happened to me a few years ago," Boehm said. "I was in a combine in one of my wheat fields when I spotted a fire. Firefighters couldn't figure out who did it but they did determine that it was started by fireworks."

Boehm said hot, dry weather is also threatening his corn fields.

"They look nice and green now," he said. "But if they don't get water soon I could lose the whole crop."

Boehm said if supply is low, the price of corn will escalate and cause a trickle-down effect. If cattle ranchers have to pay more for corn feed then consumers will end up paying more for beef in the supermarket.

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