Water Worries: OK drought is causing water shortages for producers

More than half of Oklahoma is suffering from drought, and it is causing some major water shortages.

“We’ve cleaned out some ponds, I’ve put in the water tanks. I used the drought commission money as it was commissioned to us to do. We have done those programs with the conservation commission, but now you look here we are in the middle of April— no significant rains to fill the ponds,” Clay Burtrum with Farm Data Services states. “I’m already hauling water to at least one set of cows, maybe have to sell some cows, and maybe have to haul some water to some more.”

Farm Data Services says that with less than a quarter inch of rain in over 60 days, creativity only goes so far, especially when the wheat does not grow.

“We can’t get the Bermuda grass to turn green, and so creativity will kind of go out the window when it comes to having to possibly sell some cows and depopulate the herd. But if you kind of look at the future and think about these things, we’ve overgrazed these pastures, our pastures need to rest. So, maybe we really need to think long and hard about doing some of those things. Letting our cattle population rejuvenate itself, heal our land, and use some regenerative agricultural practices,” he adds.

Burtrum also advises producers to take advantage of any market opportunities that they see.

Related Stories
A recent study by the Environmental Defense Fund in Kansas is urging farmers to diversify crop portfolios to mitigate risks and ensure long-term sustainability.
As farmers gear up for the spring planting season, it’s crucial to remember that financial planning goes hand in hand with early season crop protection.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join Host and Market Day Report Anchor Christina Loren as she interviews members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.