Okra-homa: As the climate warms, Midwestern farmers plant Southern crops

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It’s no longer as corny as Kansas in August. Now it’s cotton, okra and sorghum.
The hotter summers and ongoing drought conditions in the Midwest are forcing farmers here to forgo the plants of their ancestors and look down south for inspiration.
"We kept trying to grow sustainable tomatoes, but it was so hot that the plants got stressed and they wouldn’t produce fruit," said Courtney Skeeba, who started Homestead Ranch in the small town of Lecompton, Kan., about a decade ago. "By the end of the season, when it did get wetter and cooler, it was too late. So that’s when we started planting okra."

Read more
Photo: Steve Bisson/AP

Okra-homa: As the climate warms, Midwestern farmers plant Southern crops

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It’s no longer as corny as Kansas in August. Now it’s cotton, okra and sorghum.

The hotter summers and ongoing drought conditions in the Midwest are forcing farmers here to forgo the plants of their ancestors and look down south for inspiration.

"We kept trying to grow sustainable tomatoes, but it was so hot that the plants got stressed and they wouldn’t produce fruit," said Courtney Skeeba, who started Homestead Ranch in the small town of Lecompton, Kan., about a decade ago. "By the end of the season, when it did get wetter and cooler, it was too late. So that’s when we started planting okra."

Read more

Photo: Steve Bisson/AP