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.