OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Over the past seven days, the Oklahoma City metro area has seen more than four inches of rain. While the rain gauge is filling up, some Oklahoma farmers said it’s drowning their profits.
Kevin Marshall, owner of Indigo Acres, said lettuce is his top cash crop but it’s the plant most affected by the rain. He said he’s lost around $5,000 in profit in the last week from the rain.
“To pour your heart and soul into it and have the weather come along and in a matter of hours destroy six months of work,” said Marshall. “Most farmers don’t make money year round. A lot of the produce farmers work and make their money in about a four-to-five-month period. It’s very important in the prime season to do the best they can.”
Marshall said he has learned how to overcome changes in weather since becoming a farmer eight years ago.
A few years back, high winds knocked down one of his greenhouses. Last year, it was freezing temperatures and ice that cost him more than $20,000. Now, he has fought feet of rain that has threatened to drown his crops.
Marshall was not the only farmer feeling the effects of the wet weather. For the state’s cotton production, which makes up the fourth largest planted acreage in the country, farmers faced several hurdles with the recent weather.
“If we can take the five, six, eight inches that we’ve done and spread it out over, you know, June, July, that’d be great. And instead of getting dumped on us all at once, that’s the problem,” said Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University’s Extension Cotton Specialist. “You don’t want to wish it away, we need moisture, but it does create some challenges.”
Byrd said those challenges are disease, cooler temperatures, and slow growth.
Marshall said those are worries for him as well but said the only solution is to keep planting.
“We have to plant every week, so we can harvest in the future.”
Marshall also mentioned how farmers support farmers when these types of situations cause problems. He said now is the time to support local small farmers and continue to show support, because many might not be around much longer if they keep facing these kinds of weather hits.