|Updated: 8/29/2012 5:28 pm
||Published: 8/29/2012 4:25 pm
The effects of the drought are cumulative and we’re still experiencing effects from last year.
This summer has only made things worse. We still need more than a foot of rain to actually break the drought. Area farmers and ranchers are putting a lot of their hopes in Tropical Storm Isaac.
In Bixby, Melvin and Eugene Conrad have been working the crops for decades. Now, they’re preparing for fall and hoping desperately for a few drops of rain.
"You depend a lot on the weather. You really do,” says Eugene.
The drought in Oklahoma has taken a toll on the crops at Conrad Farms.
"It did affect some of the yields. We did manage to have some of the crops, but it did affect some of the yields,” he says.
"As far as Oklahoma goes, we are under an exceptional drought or extreme drought. Exceptional is the high end and it's just as bad as it can possibly get,” says FOX23 meteorologist, Michael Haynes.
One of the ways that local farmers like the Conrads are able to supplement the lack of rain is by using a process called disking. It involves a tractor and creates dust mulch by tilling the ground. This allows moisture to remain in the dirt rather than evaporating into the air.
Conrad Farms also uses an irrigation system with two miles of underground line.
"We have a pond that doesn't really do enough for everything we would like to do, but it really helps to supplement,” says Eugene.
It’s extra rain when the rain’s not falling, but right now, Isaac is not expected to bring enough rain our way to ease the drought, only an inch or two.
So far this year, the total number of inches that Tulsa has seen is 22. Normally, we should be around 27 inches at this time. Just to bring us back to normal, we need at least another 5 inches of rain. We will need to add another 9 inches on top of that to break the drought.
Right now, it’s not clear how much rain Isaac could bring.