Extreme drought affecting Texoma farmers

Extreme drought affecting Texoma farmers

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - The US Drought Monitor report showed several Texoma counties are under extreme drought conditions.

In 2011, Wichita Falls was hit with one of the worst droughts in its history.

The dry conditions may affect this year's harvest.

Wichita County Texas A&M Ag Extension Agent David Graf said the topsoil has completely dried out. Some farmers in our area said they hoped the subsoil would have enough moisture until they plant their summer cops and their winter crops come out of their dormant stage.

"They're going to have some more rain for that subsoil to keep going if not the harvest for canola won't be very good either," Graf said. "There won't be a crop for it."

"I generally thought droughts come every 40 years but it looks like we're getting another one in seven to eight years," Steve Marten said. He has been a farmer his entire since he says he was old enough to sit on the tractor with his father.

Marten said the drought may affect his wheat harvest

"This year could still be alright depending on rains but if it ends up being a bust, well we're just trying to hang on for the next crop," Marten said.

He also said it has come to the point where he is starting to debate how much money he should spend this year.

"Most farmers including myself won't even plant a crop," Marten said. "If there is no rain, we're not going to plant."

He said he has noticed better preparation for the drought.

"Our stock tanks are full at this point and of course our city lakes are full," Marten said. "Whereas when we got into it before we were a little bit short on water, to begin with."

Another difference he said is the low prices for wheat. The last drought, he said there was a low harvest but a high demand for wheat. He said that is not the case this time which is hurting our farmers.

"As farmers, always it's just a wait and see," Marten said. "You wait to see what the weather gives and whatever it is you take advantage of it."

Marten said he hopes to get at least two inches of spring rain.

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