Rain, Cooler Temperatures Bring Relief For Oklahoma Farmers

Thursday, August 11th 2011, 9:15 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Just days ago, it looked like every plant in Oklahoma needed rescuing, but just a few days of rain is enough to help.

"It was really difficult to have a crew here and not much to harvest," Stan Conrad, with Conrad Farms, said.

It wasn't just his workers sitting idle. Stan Conrad says even the bees quit buzzing.

"When we got the highest - 110, 112 degrees - we started feeling a little hopeless. We were putting all the water we could to do what we could," he said.

But now, there's mud on his boots.

"First time this summer," Conrad said.

And the busy bees are back, thanks to a few days of rain that stopped a historic heat wave in its tracks. Still, Conrad says the drought devastated tomato crops all over Green Country.

"The tomatoes that people really come down here for - the table tomatoes, the slicing tomatoes, or the canning tomatoes - we just don't have them for them yet," he said.

Inside his market, you'll find more vegetables grown in other states.

"We were a little more dependent on them this year," he said.

So it might surprise you that he's not expecting to lose any money. Conrad says a few days of good, steady rain is enough to erase the effects of the drought.

"It should have benefits clear into December," he said.

He says if cooler weather's here to stay, even his tomato plants will prosper.

"So if we get this break in the temperature as well as the moisture, this is a healthy enough field to really make a nice fall crop," he said.

Until then, he has one eye on the sky -- the other, on the bees.

Conrad says his pecan supplier's also feeling optimistic. That farmer says if we get six inches total of rain he won't lose a bucketful of his crop.