Drought in Oklahoma

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

BROWN, OK -- The Midwest is currently in the 2nd worst drought in recorded history, and Texoma is feeling the heat.

Despite recent rains, parts of Southern Oklahoma are in a drought, and cattle rancher, Jeff Brown is already seeing the effects.

"The next 30 days is the hottest, driest time for us. We'll be lucky to get rain in the next 60 days," said Brown.

The national weather service shows that most of Southern Oklahoma is in a moderate drought. Parts are in a severe drought.

After last summer, the hottest in recorded history, farmers and ranchers are prepared.

"We are in better shape than we were last year, but again, the next 30 to 60 days is really going to tell the story for this year," said Robert Bourne, with the OSU Ag extension office in Bryan County.

A milder winter has helped with more rain and fewer freezes, but ranchers say if the heat doesn't let up soon, they could be in big trouble.

The drought hasn't only affected land and crops, its also affecting ponds and trees. The heat evaporates the water cattle need to drink, which can be up to a tub every day. Dried up ponds can also become mud holes, where livestock can get stuck.

"We're just now fixing to get into the dry weather. Ponds are shrinking everyday," said Brown.

Cattle are also breeding later, which means they're smaller. Small calves can't feed on grass, they have to be grain fed instead, making them more expensive to care for in the summer months.

"One thing that's affecting us too, is the feed prices. As they have the droughts up in the north where they produce the soy beans and corn that we use for our feeds down here, its just going to cause those prices to go up," said Bourne.

But as those prices go up... Brown's determination won't go down.

"I'll survive. I've survived a long time," said Brown.

This year's drought may not be as bad as last year's, but if we continue to go the way we're going with no rain, it could be the second worst in history.


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