Fall Rainfall Helps Local Ranchers - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Fall Rainfall Helps Local Ranchers

 The recent rainfall is affecting more than just our lake levels. It's also lending a helping hand to wheat production and cattle processing.

The weather has caused very dry conditions for wheat production, and before the rain some say that much of the wheat may not have turned out.

In order for wheat to turn, you need a good depth of moisture when you sew the grains. Something that many farmers in the area say they were lacking before the heavy rain.

However, with the showers that hit all areas of Texoma it will not only help sustain the wheat crop, but also help a very unique aspect of Texoma farming.

“This could be what I would call a billion dollar rain,” said James Easter, a Burkburnett  rancher. “It's going to mean so much for this area. The Lord really takes care of us.”

The wheat will go dormant this winter and come back to life in the spring. While Easter said he will sell some of his wheat come warmer weather, that's not the main goal of his operation.  

It's a unique process to the Texoma region, cattle grazing on vast wheat fields. Easter uses wheat to help sustain his stocker cattle.

“Well, it's just hard to make it on wheat prices. So you can turn the cattle out on it, so we stock up on the wheat,” said Easter.

Easter has ranched on his land for 40 years. Using 1800 acres to grow wheat and process cattle.

 “You need the extra money. You may cut your yield by grazing it just a little bit, but you won't cut as much as you'll make on the cattle.”

Stocker cattle are currently at a record high. And wheat is at a constant low, according to Easter. Making the cost of wheat harvesting alone less profitable.

 “Cattle is so high it costs so much to buy the cattle and put them out, but they bring a good price, said Easter.”

 He said growing wheat in the region is not an easy task, but he says it will always be an option in the region despite the on going drought.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6

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