Drought Conditions are Taxing Oklahoma's 2022 Winter Wheat CropThu, 20 Jan 2022 19:20:01 CST
Wheat is one of Oklahoma's most valuable commodities. Not only did it bring in $478,400,000 to the state in 2020, but it also provides winter forage for the state's roughly two million beef cattle. The drought gripping the state right now is crippling winter wheat pasture. Gary Strickland, county extension director at Oklahoma State University, painted a bleak picture for the Oklahoma Farm Report's KC Sheperd.
"It has all been a real challenge for this year's crop," Strickland said. "To begin with, our input costs have been a major challenge, then you compound that with drought conditions we are facing."
Oklahoma's 2022 winter wheat crop conditions are poor, according to Strickland.
"We are not getting very much wheat growth out there - we have wheat fields that are still in that Feekes growth stage of anywhere from one to no more than four," Strickland said. "We are in January where we would like to see about five or six inches of forage out there."
Drought conditions are not unique to Oklahoma; they have been affecting much of the contiguous western U.S. and have degraded in the Great Plains since late summer.
"In southwestern Oklahoma and the Texas Rolling Plains, all of us are dry," Strickland said. "Visiting with my counterparts across the river, a lot of their wheat fields are the same as ours."
Speaking about the 2022 winter wheat crop condition as a whole, Strickland said the lack of moisture has stunted the crop.
"We do not have any moisture, so we do not have a lot of growth," Strickland said.
Strickland points out that good wheat prices do not do much for wheat farmers who cannot produce a good crop.
Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC Sheperd and Gary Strickland talk about Oklahoma's 2022 winter wheat crop.
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