Farmers, Ranchers In Southeast Oklahoma Struggle Through Drought - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Farmers, Ranchers In Southeast Oklahoma Struggle Through Drought

Posted: Updated:
This is the driest southeast Oklahoma has been since at least 1921. This is the driest southeast Oklahoma has been since at least 1921.
JD Denton owns the Denton Ranch in Corrine, Oklahoma. JD Denton owns the Denton Ranch in Corrine, Oklahoma.
Denton said he was having to use troughs through the summer, because of the lack of water for his livestock. Denton said he was having to use troughs through the summer, because of the lack of water for his livestock.
PUSHMATAHA COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma is officially in a drought, and a lack of rain and dry conditions are making it a challenge for farmers and ranchers.

Southeastern Oklahoma has been hit especially hard.

Farmers and ranchers say record temperatures and a lack of rainfall could cause ripple effects all the way to your grocery bill.

The Denton Ranch in Corrine is hurting.

JD Denton has raised cattle in southeast Oklahoma since the 1960s, but this part of the state is in the middle of a drought. The area normally sees 16 inches of rain in the spring, but this year it's received 4 inches.

Denton's ranch shows the fallout—a brown pasture that would typically be lush green, trees that are slowly dying, and ponds with barely six inches of water.

"Well, I'm glad they have that much," Denton said.

Denton said the drought has forced him to use feeding troughs in the summer—something he hardly has had to do in the past. And that's just the beginning.

"It means that I have had to sell part of my capital assets to stay in business," Denton said. "I don't like to do that. It's either that, or watch the animals die."

Tom Smith, with the OSU extension office in Pushmataha County, said the drought is taking its toll on farmers and ranchers.

"It hurts everybody in this area. With less beef, beef prices are going to be higher," Smith said. "That means less forage production, thinner cows, less grass for them to eat, lower reproduction from those cows, less hay produced in this area."

This is the driest southeast Oklahoma has been since they started keeping records in 1921, and Smith said the closer you get to Texas and Arkansas, the worse it gets.

Smith said ranchers like Denton have tried everything, and all that's left to do now is hope for rain.

"They're predicting rain for early next week. We're praying it comes. Just as simple as that—hoping and hanging on and praying for rain," Smith said.

Smith said any farmer or rancher who's struggling with the drought can contact their local OSU extension office for tips and advice.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.