For wheat farmers in southwest Oklahoma the proverbial rain has hit. Not only was there severe drought damage to the winter crops, but the late freeze on April 20 sealed the deal on failed crops.
Wheat can withstand a late freeze at different stages for different amounts of time. If wheat is headed it can withstand 30 degrees for up to 2 hours. If wheat is in the boot stage it can withstand 28 degrees for up to 2 hours. If the flag leaf is out it can withstand up to 26 degrees for 2 hours – the process continues.
In Hobart, temperatures were documented as low 22 degrees and we were under 28 degrees for 6 hours. In layman’s terms: a disaster. Zac was with a crop adjuster all day yesterday and most of the day today. Let’s just say it was a tough 48 hours in our home realizing that 80% of our main crop was not harvestable. Today Zac is swathing his Ruby Lee seed wheat – because the head is dead inside the stalk.
The problem we will be experiencing for the 2015 crop year is the significant loss of seed to plant for future crops. But this is nature’s way of ensuring the strong will survive. Our faith will remain strong in Jesus Christ, this isn’t the end but the beginning. He always provides!
On another note, Washington, D.C. legislative action tour was great. Getting to hear from the Oklahoma delegation makes us feel like we could be a part of the only sane state in the U.S., trying to bring common sense back to Washington.
With the prospective light frost, we will see if the fresh milo that is coming up can survive. This will definitely be a crucial year for many farmers. The wise ones will be here to farm another year and the not so wise might not be. It’s a make or break year in Oklahoma! This will take years for farmers to recover from the continuous drought we have seen.
Til next time –
The Harris crew