Drought in Tulsa is affecting farmers statewide

Story Comments Share

Reported by: Tiffany Alaniz
Updated: 1/19 11:20 pm Published: 1/19 11:09 pm

The drought Tulsa is experiencing is directly impacting farmers statewide.

Twenty counties in Oklahoma are designated primary natural disaster areas because of the drought.

FOX23 went to a pecan farm and found out it's not just the lack of rain that impacts the crops.

Last year, the state of Oklahoma produced over 20 million pounds of pecans but farmers tell FOX23 the rainfall amounts and the temperatures have a big impact on their crops.

Chad Selman is midway through his pecan harvest season, he told FOX23, "we're lucky to have some pecans.

Further south, southern Oklahoma they don't really have anything."

As a pecan farmer with a large yearly harvest, Selman said he's seen the difference a lack of rain can make even within the five counties where he harvests.

"Overall, from county to county is a little bit different, even just within a few miles because of the few little rainfalls we had here and there during the real dry period last year," said Selman.
Pecan harvest season runs from November through March.

Selman explained to FOX23, pecan trees set their crop in the fall of the year prior to the harvest. Meaning the nuts collected Sunday, were set in the fall of 2012.

"A drought affects several years down the road even after it starts raining again," Selman explained.

Selman says the pecans are big enough this year but there aren't as many because of the 2012 drought.

"We also had some freezes that were real borderline early and late and that affected some of the crop," Selman said.

Extreme winter weather can also have a big impact.

"This last ice storm we were really close to having a really bad ice storm maybe another couple of hours or an hour all the limbs would have started falling again just like it did in 2007," Selman explained.

This year's crop in the state of Oklahoma is expected to be between 5 and 10 million pounds.
Selman says rain will be important in the spring and fall because a drought can kill pecan trees.

"They can live for a couple of years after a drought and go ahead and die from that drought from a couple of years ago, they might even produce a crop but that's kind of their last instinct," said Selman from experience.

FOX23 examined the pecan's size that followed a drought and then looked at one during a year of good rainfall.

Selman says they'll hope for mild temperatures for the rest of the winter with rain and not a lot of snowfall which could affect their ability to harvest their crop.

Story Comments Share

0 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

No comments yet!
FOX23 Weather Center
Feels Like: 41°
High: 66° | Low: 46°

Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.