Drought devastates southwest Oklahoma wheat crop - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Drought devastates southwest Oklahoma wheat crop

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Wheat farmers in southwestern Oklahoma say the drought has left their crop is such bad condition that many will probably destroy the crop and plant a summer crop such as cotton or feed grass for cattle.

The southwestern area of the state usually kicks off the annual wheat harvest, but Mike Cassidy, president of Cassidy Grain in Frederick, calls this year's crop a disaster.

``This week we got a tenth of an inch of rain, which is the first rain we've had since October,'' Cassidy said Friday.

``At this point, it's too late to produce anywhere near an average crop in southwestern Oklahoma.

``It will be the worst year we've had in the 27 years that I've been here,'' he said.

Most of the area has received only about 20 percent of normal rainfall during the past 120 days, according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Areas of Harmon and Jackson counties have gone more than 145 days without rain.

Conditions north if Interstate 40 are somewhat better, but not much, Hodges said.

Recent rain in the Enid area helped ``freshen up'' the wheat there, he said, but more is needed.

``They are going to have to get timely moisture and not get too hot, which puts a lot of demands on those plants for water,'' Hodges said.

The drought also is hitting cattle producers, who haven't had a wheat crop for forage this winter.

Cassidy said producers in southwestern Oklahoma likely will begin selling their cattle because of the lack of forage and feed.
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