Hardships continue for ranchers as pastures and grazing lands across the state keep on getting dryer. But the recent rain fall may be just enough to get the seasons wheat crop up and growing.
Kenneth McAlister tells Newschannel 6 the wheat that is going to be planted in his pastures is strictly for grazing purposes. In order to keep his cattle fed Kenneth says hoping for a good crop would be a bonus. His main priority is getting cattle fed before running out of hay.
It has been a rough few months for ranchers, but Kenneth McAlister is not giving up hope despite what he is told.
Kenneth McAlister says, "My dad told me the other day this is the first time since he's been farming that he's had all of his ground open. Nothing growing on it."
And the wide open land and bare filed's show for it, but the tractors and plows are out and ready. Kenneth McAlister's wheat crop is going in. He comments, "The situation to get this planted is for cattle purpose at this point. It is crucial that we make a crop because we are short a crop."
McAlister says in the 27 years of being a farmer this is a first. Framers and ranchers across Texas have had two back to back failed crops. Last years wheat crop struggled followed by cotton. McAlister says now he has no other choice.
McAlister says, "I'm waiting for rain and I'm hoping that we can get some by November 1st to plant and do what we need to do for a crop. I've got some that is situated already. I've got enough moisture and I'm going to go ahead and plant some for grazing."
Kenneth McAlister's is not alone. He says Texoma farmers are turning to each other in order to get advice in this crisis. And McAlister says at this point he is taking it one day at a time.
Kenneth McAlister does admit the past year has been rough. He says he is never been one to give up hope. Kenneth tells Newschannel 6 that once he gets his wheat crop planted all he can do is pray for more rain.
McAlister says the wheat planting deadline is December 15th, but if you are going to produce a good wheat crop for production the best planting time is by November 1st. And rain is crucial.