Drought Causes Worry For Oklahoma Farmers


Friday, August 20th 2010, 6:02 pm
By: News On 6


By Craig Day, The News On 6

UNDATED -- The hot, dry weather is taking a toll on some Oklahoma farmers. Fields and pastures are starting to show signs of stress, and that's leaving farmers and ranchers hoping and praying for rain.

Like all Oklahoma farmers, Karl Skalnik always hopes for the right amount of rain, and the right timing for it.

"It's all in the Lord's hands, you can't do anything about it," said Karl Skalnik, a soybean farmer.

This year, there was too much rain when he wanted to plant, and now not enough.

"Those are places that beans were actually turning brown and falling down from the dry weather," he said.

Thankfully, recent showers came just in time to help some. It's was likely the prettiest inch and 7/10ths of rainfall in quite some time.

"I think if these beans would have had another four days of that 100 plus degree weather, it would have gone; it would have died," the farmer said.

The soybean plants are about waist high. Thanks to recent rain, they'll make it. However, plants in another nearby field - not a chance. It was too dry, for too long.

Soybean farmer Karl Skalnik says the best he can hope for is an average year.

"We would love to have an average crop," he said.

Many other Oklahoma farmers are holding out hope for more rain too.

Ron Hays is the director of farm programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network and is heard on 40 radio stations statewide.

"A lot of folks who simply didn't get any rain - in a lot of cases those crops are probably toast," Hays said. "They are not going to make it, at least on some of the crops that we're talking about, soybeans especially."

Back at his farm, Karl Skalnik is thankful for the rain he did get.

"It was a dire situation, yes it was," he said.

But, like all Oklahoma farmers, he still watches the chances in the forecast, and hopes for the best.

"We're not out of the woods until they are on a truck at the port, being weighed and paid for," he said.

While many parts of Green Country were lucky enough to see rain in the past week, parts of central Oklahoma have had just a trace of rain over the past 30 days. East Central Oklahoma is seeing its ninth driest 30-day period since 1929.