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Farmers hoping for more rain to lessen drought

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Some Oklahoma farmers say there's "cautious optimism" that patchy rains this summer will make a dent in the drought afflicting much of the state and help save crops and cattle.

But they concede conditions could change quickly, like they did last year when Oklahoma settled back into the oppressive heat of the summer months. Crops wilted and hay shortages were prevalent across a large swath of the state.

Tim Bartram, with the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, says if periodic rains suddenly dry up, many farmers will be left with a familiar picture from last season.

If the rains subside, Bartram says, farmers and ranchers will relive the drought conditions of 2013, which slashed the recent wheat harvest in half - from 120 million bushels to 60 million bushels or less.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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