Wet Weather Creates Challenges For Farmers

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Washita County’s farmers could be facing severe economic impacts as a result of excessive rains during the past year. The moisture has not only impacted the planting and harvesting of various crops, but also adversely affected some crop quality which will reduce the price for which local farmers can sell their crops.

Greg Hartman, the OSU Extension agriculture agent for Beckham and Washita counties said the excessive rains and unseasonably cool temperatures have had far-reaching and in some cases devastating consequences for local farmers. According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, which measures vital weather statistics, Washita County has received 25.94 inches of rain in 2019 and more than 47 inches in the past 365 days.

That moisture, Hartman said, has adversely impacted the area’s hard red wheat crop, which is usually harvested in mid-May. The harvest was delayed because both the crops and fields in which they’re grown were too wet. The delay and the excessive moisture in the wheat has the effect of reducing the protein level in the wheat, making it less valuable on the open market.

 

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