Farmers Scrambling To Feed Cattle After Drought And Fires In NW Oklahoma
NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA - Ongoing drought and wildfires have cattle ranchers in Oklahoma scrambling for hay.
The state is one of several southwestern states recently devastated by wildfires. A combination of drought and fires have left ranchers in Northwestern Oklahoma without hay and pasture; making finding grass or wheat to feed their cattle nearly impossible.
Northwestern Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle, which account for nearly 20% of the state, are rated in exceptional drought, the most severe category.
Most recently, the 34 Complex Fire and Rhea Fire wiped out any resources for ranchers to feed their cattle, leaving many of them dependent on donations from surrounding states.
However, because other states such as Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Utah and New Mexico are also in exceptional drought, there's not a lot of extra to go around.
Oklahoma State University Agricultural Economist Derrell Peel said recent rains have been a Godsend and will need to continue to keep ranchers from having to sell off their herds.