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Statewide drought decimates wheat crops

OKLAHOMA – Wheat farms continue to struggle as Oklahoma battles desperately dry conditions.

Wheat crops are down 38% from the previous five-year average.

The Oklahoma Wheat Commission says this year’s crop will go down in history as one of the worst in decades.

NewsChannel Four’s Aaron Bracket says Oklahoma has not seen a drought like this in decades.

Bracket said, “You know this drought really is exceptional. We’re talking something we haven’t seen, in not just years, but decades in parts of Southwestern Oklahoma, and it’s actually comparable to the Dust Bowl and in some places even worse.”

It is the worst possible conditions for Oklahoma’s crops.

Some of the people hit hardest by this drought are Oklahoma’s wheat farmers.

Wheat farmer Karen Krehbiel says she has been praying for rain.

Krehbiel says “We’re only going to have probably, something less than fifty percent of our crop this year will be harvested. In a normal or an average year, it would be eighty-five percent.”

Although her crop is struggling, Krehbiel says she is in good shape compared to many.

Some farmers are at risk of losing their farms.

Krehbiel said, “You just almost cry with them because they’re friends, they`re neighbors. You know their kids, their families and you know it’s a financial struggle to not have that crop.”

With more rain in the forecast, our 4 Warn Storm Team’s Aaron Bracket says many farmers could get a little help.

Bracket said, “The good thing about the rain that we’ve been seeing, is that it’s hitting the hardest drought hit areas in Oklahoma. Some locations in Southwest Oklahoma have recorded about four to five inches in the past few days, and there’s still this potential to see another inch or two as we go into tomorrow and Wednesday.”

Krehbiel says the rain is an answer to her prayers.

Krehbiel said, “The last few days of rain, they are certainly an answer to the prayers that we’ve sent state wide.”