Late freeze adds to drought woes for Oklahoma wheat growers

Temps dipped below freezing in many parts of Oklahoma Monday night
by Brianna Bailey Modified: April 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
Advertisement
;

An early morning freeze Tuesday could have put further stress on Oklahoma’s wheat crop, already hurting because of continued drought conditions.

Temperatures dipped below 32 degrees for more than 10 hours in many parts of the state. Plants in southwest Oklahoma could have been particularly affected by Tuesday’s freeze because the wheat crop is further along than in the northern part of the state, said Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission.

It will be another week before farmers are able to tell if Tuesday’s freeze significantly harmed this year’s crop by examining wheat plants for signs of damage, Schulte said.

“The crop this year was already extremely stressed because of drought before this freeze event, so we are concerned.” Schulte said.

The state’s wheat crop has suffered the past two years with continued drought, late freezes and severe weather conditions, he said.

In 2013, Oklahoma’s wheat crop yielded 105.4 million bushels, down from 154.8 million in 2012. The five-year average yield for the state’s wheat crop — 106.58 million bushels — is much lower than in previous years because of less-than-ideal crop conditions, Schulte said.

Kiowa County wheat farmer Zac Harris, who grows about 6,200 acres of wheat near Hobart, said temperatures dipped below 28 degrees for several hours Tuesday morning, leaving him worried he won’t have much wheat to harvest this year.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the Univerisity of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror
  2. 2
    Has this cloud predicted the result of the Scottish referendum?
  3. 3
    Go time: Illegals rushing border fearing U.S. crackdown | WashingtonExaminer.com
  4. 4
    'Suspend Adrian Peterson' Minnesota governor says to Vikings
  5. 5
    You would not believe where the nation's rudest drivers live
+ show more