The Norman Transcript

State/Region

January 2, 2014

State farmers look at 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY — Winter storms that dumped ice and snow across Oklahoma in December have cattle ranchers and wheat farmers optimistic about their fortunes in 2014, even as they say that more moisture is needed.

The water from melting ice and snow as a result of December’s precipitation has helped keep hay and pastures green and moist enough to keep cattle fed, according to rancher Paul Schilberg in Clinton in western Oklahoma, but more is needed.

“We’re not in bad shape right now, but we sure need some rain,” Schilberg said.

“We had some timely rains in August and it sure made the hay crop moist, and the wheat pastures are looking really good this year,” Schilberg said. “We just need a big old rain. For the most part, the rain we’ve gotten has pretty much soaked in, not that much runoff,” to fill dry ponds.

Agricultural economist Darrel Peel at Oklahoma State University said 2014 also appears to be shaping up as a good year for cattle ranchers after two years of drought conditions that had many ranchers selling at least some of their herd in order to feed, water and support the remainder of the herd.

“In the second half of (2013) these cattle markets have recovered very strongly. Cattle numbers are very limited and (because of) that tight supply ... in 2014, we’re predicting record cattle prices and record returns in profitably,” for ranchers, Peel said.

In southwestern Oklahoma, where the U.S. Drought Monitor reported extreme to exceptional drought conditions, the wheat crop was benefiting from the recent precipitation, said David Gammill, who has about 1,000 acres in wheat planted near Grandfield.

“We’ve gotten some pretty decent moisture. It’s encouraging enough to maintain the wheat, it’s enough to get us over to February,” when, Gammill said, rain will be needed to continue the wheat’s growth until harvest in late May to early June.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014

  • March Oklahoma revenue misses mark by 9.1 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s finance secretary says collections by the general revenue fund fell 9.1 percent below the official estimate in March....

    April 16, 2014

  • University of Tulsa researchers find new species

    TULSA — A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma House passes state trooper pay raise bill

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could get their first pay raise in seven years under a plan given final legislative approval Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether money will be available in the overall state budget to ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Barresi decries plan to eliminate Okla. tests

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi is raising concern about a bill before the Legislature that would eliminate state testing in social studies and geography....

    April 16, 2014

  • State-mandated minimum wage draws ire across state

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Organizers seeking a higher minimum wage in Oklahoma are upset with Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to sign a bill that prohibits cities in the state from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s 8-month streak without tornado falls

    TULSA — After Oklahoma’s eight-month streak without a tornado was snapped this weekend by a pair of suspected twisters, the state’s wild weather jag continued into Monday, with blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and freezing ...

    April 15, 2014

  • 4 now charged in college player’s death

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A fourth person was charged Monday in the death of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot as he jogged in a southern Oklahoma neighborhood last summer....

    April 15, 2014

  • Fallin signs minimum wage increase ban

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities across Oklahoma are now prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin....

    April 15, 2014