Farmers Losing Crops Due to Drought, Freezing Temps - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Farmers Losing Crops Due to Drought, Freezing Temps

COTTON CO., Okla_ Southwestern Oklahoma wheat farmers, especially those from Walters to Hollis are welcoming any thunderstorms, severe or not, as their crops are in dire need of rain.

The freezing temperatures coming with the storm system are a different story. Most wheat crops are early enough in development to recover from hail damage, but too late in development to fully recover from recent cold snaps. Any additional freezing weather could do their crops in for good.

Unfortunately, farmer Matt Wyatt said he's preparing to harvest only 15% of what he planted. So, he's planning on losing around 85%. Remember, crop production is a big chunk of a farmer's income. So in all reality, this is like someone taking a huge and almost unrealistic pay cut at work.

Wyatt said "frustrated" is an understatement when talking about this growing season. He was hoping for a 40 bushel crop.

"This is just like you getting a paycheck," Wyatt said. "We get a paycheck once a year on this crop, and when you don't receive it, it's pretty disastrous."

Now, his only hope is an insurance agency, and he's not the only one. Mark Gregory, an agronomy specialist from the OSU Extension Service, met at the Tri-County Gin Tuesday with numerous area farmers to help them figure out the next step. He said the timing of the freeze has even put a damper on haying. The crop isn't real tall, so it won't produce much hay.

For that reason, Wyatt isn't even considering cutting his crop for hay.

"Normally, the wheat would be at least knee high," Wyatt said. "When it's fully headed, it's from knee high to my waist."

That's why Gregory thinks that some farmers may possibly try and do something else with their fields.

"Some of the guys may talk about going to cotton production or grain production," Gregory said.

All he knows for sure is the end result will be different for every farmer.

"It's varying from field to field," Gregory said. "Planting dates make a difference. We have some real differences showing up."

One of the big differences is how much moisture was actually within the plant when the freeze happened, which unfortunately was not enough in Matt Wyatt's case.

Gregory said a plant with a lot of moisture has a better chance of surviving a freeze.  So, he said areas like Hobart and parts of Stephens County, which have seen a little more rain, aren't having as big of a problem with the damage.

Gregory said the wheat crop is resilient and could possibly recover with cool temperatures and a lot of rain through May. Although, he doesn't look for the weather to cooperate with farmers any time soon.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • 3 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

    3 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:25 AM EST2018-02-25 07:25:46 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:47 PM EST2018-02-25 19:47:44 GMT
    (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River  Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...(Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

  • Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:16 AM EST2018-02-25 07:16:08 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:37 PM EST2018-02-25 19:37:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

  • After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    Saturday, February 24 2018 10:35 AM EST2018-02-24 15:35:23 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:09 PM EST2018-02-25 17:09:11 GMT
    The progression has become numbingly repetitive - mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals and mourning. (Source: AP Photos)The progression has become numbingly repetitive - mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals and mourning. (Source: AP Photos)

    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.

    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.

Powered by Frankly