Sandy Not Helping Oklahoma's Drought Situation

Wednesday, October 31st 2012, 8:26 am
By: News 9

By Dave Davis, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- While the East Coast deals with flooding and heavy rains, Oklahoma is in the middle of an extreme drought and it's costing our state billions of dollars.

The drought of 2010 to 2012 in Oklahoma is a huge disaster.

The Oklahoma Climate Survey shows it's been more than a month since much of the northwest part of the state has had more than a tenth of an inch of rain in a day. It's been even longer than that since they've seen a quarter inch.

News On 6 agriculture expert Ron Hays mentioned that a year ago, some farmer's saw 80 percent of their crop lost to drought.

The Oklahoma Mesonet is a network of environmental monitoring stations, and they release what's called a plant available water map. That's basically the amount of water already in the soil that plants are able to use. Statewide, Oklahoma is more than 2 inches below normal level.

Look at map.

Ron Hays says several farmers are just calling it quits.

"We've got some older guys that are simply liquidating their herds, and they're not going to get back into the business. They're at the point where they're able to wind down their careers in ag, farming ranching, and they're not going to come back in and try to buy a new herd and start over again," said Ron Hays.

Hays went on to say that if next year brings a third straight summer of drought, more tough decisions will have to be made.