Rain and storm season can mean trouble for farmers

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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DOUGHERTY, Okla. (KXII) - This month’s influx of rain makes it difficult for many farmers to harvest crops, but the clock is ticking for grain farmers.

Better Together Farm in Dougherty grows produce in sandy soil with high drainage. Manager Alan Seiler said that means that flooding isn’t really a problem. During the storm season, he’s more worried about hail.

The farm grows year round using greenhouses, but hail and even strong winds can do a lot of damage to them.

“We [recently] probably got an 80 to 90 mile an hour wind, it might have been a small tornado,” Seiler said. “The latter end of this particular tunnel was smashed.”

Seiler said the worst rain does for his farm is make it harder to weed and harvest.

“Even with all this rain, all you have to do is have a window during the day where you can get out there,” Seiler said.

For farmers with more clay in their soil, its a different story.

“Anytime we have excess moisture, we tend to create an anerobic environment so we get plants that start to die of root rot,” Oklahoma State University Extension specialist Brian Freking said. “They don’t have that air to breathe that they should.”

Freking said too much rain is a big worry for farmers who grow grain.

“Farmers are chomping at the bit to cut that hay,” Freking said. “What’s happening right now, is that quality of the hay is going down every day we have to wait. Same thing with wheat-the wheat is ready to be harvested but we cant get the crews in to harvest it because it’s to muddy to get the equipment in.”

“This every day, a half an inch of rain or something like that has really affected our ability to manage our weeds,” Seiler said. “It’s like there’s this little window of dry period but there’s a lot to do and you can’t necessarily get to them all.”

Siler said he’s looking forward to the fall growing season when the weather is just as nice, but severe storms aren’t as frequent.

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