MILTONVALE, Kan. (AP) — An increase in requests for irrigation wells in central Kansas is raising some concern among residents there. The department that issues the permits says safeguards are in place to protect the water in an area of the state without widespread irrigation. Lane Letourneau, of the Kansas Division of Water Resources, says requests for water wells indicates a trend toward more irrigation, as are efforts to capture surface water in northeast Kansas. He says the increase is being driven at least partly by higher crop prices. The Salina Journal reports the water agency received 22 applications in 2013, with six dismissed, nine approved and the other seven pending. Letourneau says many of the systems are meant to help crops during dry periods and not to fully irrigate the crops.