Last October, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a drought declaration for all 105 counties in the state. As of the new year, the declaration continues with counties divided into emergency (67), warning (11) and watch (27) status. Most counties currently fall within the emergency category, while the U.S. Drought Monitor reports that most southern Kansas is experiencing exceptional drought.

Conditions were severe enough recently for farmers in 85 Kansas counties to become eligible apply for assistance from the USDA livestock forage program. As she enters her second term, Gov. Kelly has indicated water policy will be top of mind for her legislative priorities.

Read more about drought conditions and the governmental response.