Wheat Crop Devastated By Extreme Oklahoma Drought

Wednesday, April 6th 2011, 6:25 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Counties across Oklahoma are seeing severe drought conditions. The drought is the worst the state has seen since the 1920s.

During a good crop season and for this time of the year, the wheat should be about 18 inches tall, but many wheat fields are only about six inches or less.

Wheat in many Oklahoma fields is more brown than green.

"Brown from a lack of rain," said farmer Roy Wilson.

This is the worst drought Wilson has seen in his 40 years of farming.

"Even if we get a rain now, this crop won't survive," Wilson said.

Wilson grows wheat to bail for hay to feed his cattle. He can usually get about 120 bails, but this year he said he will be lucky to get 10.

"I will have to look elsewhere for hay to feed my cattle," Wilson said.

He can salvage what's left in his field by letting cattle graze. Down the road, even though it's waving in the wind, Wilson's other crop is not what it should be.

"It ain't gonna be 100 percent, but it will probably be an 80 percent crop on it," Wilson said.

Wilson's not alone. Farmers all over the state are praying for rain to save what's left. Instead of selling the wheat for food, most farmers will most likely make money by selling crops as hay and recoup their losses through crop insurance.

"We're gonna have to find something to supplement what we lost this year," Wilson said.

Most likely there will be a spike in food prices because of the short wheat crop, but just how high prices will go won't be known until harvest time which is in June.

Agricultural experts said if the state does get rain soon, crops north of I-40 could be decent, but rain or not crops south of I-40 do not have a chance.