OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Although Saturday’s rain has been good for the drought, it’s not enough for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. It’s been a tough year for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers as the drought has impacted several aspects of their business.
According to the U.S. drought monitor, Oklahoma County and surrounding counties are in an extreme drought. There are also other surrounding counties that are in an exceptional drought like Seminole County and parts of Kingfisher and Blaine Counties.
One Oklahoma farmer and rancher told KFOR, Saturday’s rain helps but, it isn’t enough.
Clay Burtrum owns and operates a farm and ranch cow, calf and stocker operation in Payne, Pawnee and Noble Counties in north central Oklahoma.
“I also work for Farm Data Services in the county operation. We travel the whole state, seeing many farmers and ranchers that are affected by this drought,” said Clay Burtrum, farmer and rancher in Payne County.
Burtrum said Saturday’s rain is great for the grass and crops, but it’s not going to fill the many empty ponds they have.
“If you roll back about ten years, we had this drought back in 2012 and 2013. That was a very impacted drought, and we had a lot of empty ponds. But now this drought has impacted us more because of the heat we had this summer. The ponds are very empty. I mean, me personally, we have about five empty ponds right now,” said Burtrum.
Burtrum also said this year’s weather has impacted hay production.
“It’s impacting us even more because we have about a third of the hay production that we normally have,” said Burtrum.
Burtrum said Saturday’s rain will make an impact for many farmers and ranchers across the state.
“This is a very beneficial rain because our soil temperatures have cooled down and this kind of rain is very impactful because it’ll soak into the ground, because we have a lot of cracks in the ground right now. The ground is very open. It’ll take in this rain, very saturated ground, very well in our wheat pastures, and will help us move forward in our drought conditions,” said Burtrum.
Burtrum said the emergency drought relief funds that were approved earlier this year have been tremendously helpful for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers affected.
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