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Despite rain, drought's effects linger in Oklahoma

This spring's rains cheer Oklahoma farmers.
by Ken Raymond Published: June 5, 2012
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Don't be fooled by all the rain that has fallen this spring: The drought in Oklahoma may not be over.

That's according to The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, a nonprofit agricultural institute in Ardmore.

“Some farmers are calling this spring the best they've ever seen,” wrote Adam Calaway, foundation spokesman, in a news release. “Steady rains produced a flush of annual grasses, yielding the most abundant hay crop many can remember.”

Growth has been so good that Chuck Coffey, a senior pasture and range consultant with the foundation, described it as a “Garden of Eden” in Oklahoma.

But, he cautioned, we're not clear of the consequences of last year's punishing drought.

Last summer marked the driest four months in Oklahoma since 1921, Calaway noted. Farmers lost complete crops; the lack of food forced them to reduce their livestock herds. The arid summer had a negative $6 billion impact on Oklahoma and Texas.

There's reason to believe it's not over.

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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