Farmers in limbo as spring season continues to dump rain across Oklahoma 


BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. – Farmers across the state are trying to recoup what they’ve lost due to spring flooding this season.

“Not to complain about the rain, it’s great to have the rain, if we can just get a break to harvest the crops we make,” said Jim Esbenshade.

Esbenshade says he has had to replant some of his corn up to three times after a quarter of his harvest drowned from heavy rain near the Red River.

This year, at a price of $300 per acre on his crops, he has cropped close to 600 acres so far this year, costing $180,000.

“A lot of our early hay has been poor quality hay, and we’ve already lost. Then some of our wheat went down, and then a lot of our corn drowned,” Esbenshade told KXII.

According to Robert Bourne at the OSU Extension Office, other farmers have also asked for help, some with cattle feed they had to plant late.

“When they get ready to harvest this crop, it’s not going to be as mature as what they would normally cut at this time. Tonnage is going to be down, so there’s going to be some challenges trying to get that crop out, especially if the rains continue,” said Bourne.

Bryan County received 14 inches of rain in April and May; 22 inches total so far this year.

“September to December, we were looking at already having 35 inches, and our normal rainfall is 47 (for the year). So we’ve already gotten most of our rainfall in those three, four months, and we are way ahead of that schedule now,” said Bourne.

Esbenshade says they’re thankful for the rain, but a break would be helpful.

“We’re very thankful for the rain, if we can just get a few windows in there to harvest what we can make. We’re very thankful to God for the rain,” said Esbenshade.

He says it’s too late to plant the corn, but will harvest what’s left in August.

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