With temperatures expected to dip below freezing for a second consecutive night in many parts of the state on Wednesday, farmers feared the weather's impact on Oklahoma wheat and peach crops.
There is little that wheat farmer David Gammill can do but wait and see if his crop will be a total loss this year.
“I may have to just give up on the crop completely,” Gammill said.
It could be months before Gammill and other wheat farmers in the state know the extent of the damage.
A freeze on March 26 and a round of hail and rain Tuesday night battered Gammill's 1,000-acre wheat farm near Chattanooga, south of Lawton. Gammill also expected a hard freeze overnight on Wednesday.
Wheat crops in southwest Oklahoma could be especially hard hit by the late freeze because of damage from bad weather in March, said Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission.
“Right now it's too early to tell what kind of damage there might be,” Schulte said.
A similar late freeze in the state in April 2009 led to significant damage of that year's wheat crop, Schulte said.
“There is great concern in the state right now on how this will affect the Oklahoma wheat crop, but it's nothing new,” he said.
Peach growers in Stratford were also keeping a watchful eye on the temperature Wednesday night.
A freeze two weeks ago took out about one-fourth of the blooms on the 1,200 trees at Sonrise Peach Farms just north of Stratford.
Owner Rene Scott built bonfires from bales of hay and brush beneath the trees to boost the air temperatures and protect the fragile blooms and was planning on doing the same on Wednesday night if the temperatures dipped too low.
Weather forecasts predicted the temperature would dip to 30 in the Stratford area, which could be devastating for this year's peach crop, said Susan Bergen, owner of Peach Crest Farms in Stratford.
“As long as we don't dip to 30, we will be fine. But 30 would be catastrophic,” Bergen said. “We will know in a few days what happens.”