Costs push Oklahoma farmers away from corn

Tuesday, August 9th 2005, 9:48 am
By: News On 6

GUYMON, Okla. (AP) _ Many corn farmers in Oklahoma's Panhandle say the high cost of natural gas is causing them to shy away from growing corn.

They say the high natural gas prices make watering the crop too costly. Texas County farmers use the fuel to power engines that tap the Ogallala Aquifer, which is used to water crops.

When natural gas prices were cheaper, it would cost farmers about three-thousand dollars to water corn on a 125-acre field. Experts say the cost is not up to about $9,000 on a similar-sized plot.

If prices continue to rise, sunflowers could become the crop of choice next year for farmers in the county that traditionally has been Oklahoma's top corn producer.