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Oklahoma wheat farmers begin poor harvest

USDA projects Oklahoma’s wheat crop to be the state’s worst since 1957.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: May 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: May 24, 2014

“It’s going to be a short harvest this year,” Cassidy said.

David Gammill, chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission Board and a crop insurance agent in southwest Oklahoma, said about 5 percent of the fields he has seen in southwest Oklahoma have been abandoned, or will harvest between five and 15 bushels per acre.

After several successive bad years because of drought, farmers will have to pay more for crop insurance next year, Gammill said.

“The rates go sky high,” Gammill said. “As yield history goes down, the premium goes way up.”

In northern Oklahoma, the harvest won’t begin for about another week. Near Burlington in Alfalfa County, farmer Keith Kisling said he believes this year’s crop will be the poorest he’s harvested in 45 years of farming.

“I can’t remember the last time we had half an inch of rain at one time,” Kisling said.

Kisling will have to rely on his federal crop insurance, and hopes for a better harvest next year.

“There won’t be any money to be made, but maybe enough to survive and get another crop next year,” he said.

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 University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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