Western Oklahoma wheat conditions tough
By Emma Misener
Thursday, June 5
This year, wheat harvest is looking terrible for western Oklahoma. Experts are saying that this widespread drought that started in late 2010 is worse than it has ever been. Even the 1930s cannot compare to where we are today. Think about that. It is worse than the Dust Bowl!
Farmers in our area have zeroed everything out. The insurance adjusters said to one farmer, “I said one bushel per acre, but it’s really less than that.”
Some farmers are not even baling wheat straw because they are getting less than one bale per acre. It is not worth the cost to bale it up. They have turned their cattle out on the fields so they can eat what there is and give the pastures a chance to grow something.
This year is unlike anything I have ever seen before. In plain words, the wheat just didn’t grow. In areas where it rained this spring they will harvest, but some will only average 5 to 10 bushels per acre. Five years ago we would have called that a total loss, and yet where we are today we call that better than nothing. It is a question of whether or not it is worth harvesting at 10 bushels per acre. That is barely breaking even.
The big question becomes planting next year’s crop. What are farmers going to use?
Emma Misener can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.