Farmers Anxious for Rainfall as Fields Wilt


Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 10:52 pm
By: News 9


By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Wheat farmers' concern has grown after Oklahoma experienced a winter lacking rain and snow.

El Reno was expected to receive about 32 inches of rain this year, but in the last six months, the area has seen only six inches of moisture.

"Every morning, you're wondering how much you're going to lose the next day," farmer Dennis Elmenhorst said.

His dad, Don Elmenhorst, is 73-years-old and has worked hard the better part of his years.

Dustin Elmenhorst, his son, is entering the family business.

"Out of all the years I've been alive, it's probably the worst it's ever looked," Don said.

The 3,000 acres of farm land are emptier than they have been in past months.

"Fuel and fertilizer has been up tremendously and therefore we have a lot more money in this crop than normal," Don said.

They have $600,000 tied up in their farm acreage, the most they've paid in recent memory, and they need an excellent crop to make it worth it.

The family's land is dusty and thirsty, like other farmland across the state. They all need rain to replenish their land.

The lack of rain hurts the cattle business, too. There is less for the animals to graze on, so feeding has to be supplemented.

The Oklahoma Wheat Commission said if the rain doesn't arrive in the next two to three weeks, it could affect prices at the grocery store, but experts said that will also heavily depend on the world market.