What is in this article?:
• Rare exceptions show crop promise.
• Some areas have had no rain since last fall.
• Two million acres of cotton in jeopardy in high Plains
Still have a chance
Schoonover said Boman believes farmers still have time to get a dryland cotton crop going but a large amount of dryland acreage remains under drought pressure. “Farmers in some areas were able to plant after rain storms on May 19 and May 20, and plants in those fields are emerging.”
Schoonover said he’s seen only one field of young grain sorghum east of Altus, in the irrigation district. “It needed some moisture. The young plants are turning a light green and beginning to shrivel under the hot southwest winds. We have had more continuous hot, dry winds from the southwest than I can remember with average wind speed nearly 40 miles per hour, not counting the gusts. And these winds have continued to blow after dark, when the wind in this country usually settles down.”
Schoonover said a lot of farmers are taking advantage of grazing CRP fields with the new USDA allowances.
“Native pastures that greened up after the May 19 and May 20 rains in southwest Oklahoma are now browning up again. Stock water in natural ponds has not become a major problem yet in the southwest corner of the state, but farther north and west ponds have been drying up since late winter. Not many beef cow herds are to be seen, but that is probably due to the high cattle prices; a lot of cows and replacement heifers have been sold.”