Drought Brings Multitude of Problems to Area Farmers


This year could be one that farmers remember, and not in a good way. With winter now gone until next December, farmers and ranchers are relying on their wheat crops to feed their cattle now that their hay is gone. 

With this however, the wheat and rye that is being saved for harvest is not faring well at all. The wheat and even the rye are shorter than usual because of the low amount of rain Northwest Oklahoma has been receiving. 

“The hardest thing farmers are going to have to overcome this harvest is probably getting (the machinery) low enough to get all the wheat, and the cost of custom cutting being $40 plus an acre. Low yielding crops being 16 inches this year are just going to be a few problems they face this year,” Troy Everett, Wheeler Bros. manager, said. 

Farmers and ranchers should be turning their cattle out to graze grass pasture, but this year there is barely anything for them to graze on, forcing farmers to buy more hay for their livestock. The amount of fires that popped up all over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska did not help either. Extreme drought is rattling the states that rely on rain and moisture to keep their crops and livestock alive. When rain does arrive however, it is immediately soaked up, and in a matter of hours it looks like it never rained.

“The drought isn’t our biggest issue, it’s going to be finding forage for the cattle and the high input cost on everything. With the drought though and the high input costs, a lot of farmers are not fertilizing their crops this year, so even if we catch rain, they aren’t going to respond because they can’t afford the fertilizer,” Larry Rauh, local farmer,  said. 

The thing that is most likely causing all of this is the weather patterns and tornado alley have shifted to the east. Deserts have also shifted east making all of the prairie like states such as Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska dry out at an alarming rate. 

With all of this happening though farmers and ranchers still keep their heads up and continue to work to help feed America.