Tag Archives: drought

On the Horizon: Hay Theft

Hay becomes extremely valuable to farmers and ranchers during the cold winter months, especially this year as farmers continue to struggle with a record setting drought.

Many farmers have had to sell livestock due to the lack of pasture to graze and because of the high rise in grain and hay costs. You can ask a farmer why they have had to sell so much of their stock and the response is almost always the same, they just can’t afford to feed them. Times like these often leave people desperate and that desperation has even lead to some people committing crimes of stealing what they need to get by. The combination of this desperation and the rise in hay costs has caused a growing epidemic of hay bales being stolen.

In this week’s video blog, we see how one clever Oklahoma sheriff found a way to catch hay thieves in the act.
Kela Kelln

On the Horizon: Bracing for another waterless storm

It’s still hard for me to get over the fact that water is being rationed. I come from a state where water is everywhere and we never have to worry about how to water livestock, the grass or ourselves. This concept of only being allowed to use so much water per day reminds me of the stories about war time and having to ration food and supplies for the troops.

I have covered the drought from a journalistic standpoint since its beginning in 2011. I’ve witnessed the heartbreak, the struggles, the concerns, and the farmers’ realization that their livelihood may not be a reality any longer. I have sympathized with them and, on occasion, have had to put down the camera and share in their tears.

In this week’s video blog, we take a look at the year 2013 and how all signs point to a continued drought with record setting heat. We talk with a cattle producer whose goal in life is to raise cattle and be the best producer he can be.

In the words of Paul Harvey on the 2013 Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial, we need someone who will be dedicated to feeding and clothing the world “so God made a farmer.”
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Can we move forward?

This past summer, I was able to drive through the Midwest and was shocked and saddened by the vast amounts of corn, soybean and wheat fields that were already dried out in early summer from no rain. Having experienced the severe drought the previous year, I knew what farmers and ranchers were going through. I spoke with one gentleman in Illinois who was feeding his cattle in a feedlot because there wasn’t enough grass to last the summer.

This story is the same for most producers up and down the Midwest. Now that the election is over, agriculturalists hope lawmakers will begin focusing on issues facing their industry. The big two are the drought and the lack of a new farm bill.

In this week’s video blog, we take a look at those two topics and how farm broadcasters feel about them and what they are doing to speak up for agriculture.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Bring Home the Cattle

The cows are starting to come home in Southwestern Oklahoma. But high prices are slowing down the process. When I traveled to the Southwest corner of the state last year, I found crunchy ground, long trailer lines at the sale yards, and people rationing their water. It was site I prayed I would never have to see again.

As this spring rolled around, the rains poured across North Central Oklahoma where I live. But I wondered what was happening with our friends to the Southwest of us. I was very pleased to find that they had gotten 14 inches of rain by the month of June! Things were definitely turning around for them and I knew I had to get back down there and tell the other half of their story.

In this week’s video blog, we take a look at how the citizens of Caddo County survived the drought and how they are bouncing back and reclaiming their livelihoods.
Andy Barth

On the Horizon: Things are Bigger in Texas (and the “Neighboring State” effect)

Funny how a little rain can make all the difference in how things look. It’s been so dry that even the well-watered plants around the house have been looking a little thirsty. But if you think it’s been dry here, just head south to Texas. I was there in September and the leaves were already falling from the severe drought they have been dealing with.

So while we have been dry, they are parched, which has just exacerbated what has been a growing problem for the Lone Star State…lots of people and not enough water for them. In this week’s video blog we take a closer look at Texas’ thirst and the implications that could have on Oklahoma’s water supplies.

~Rob McClendon