Historical 100-degree days in a year
1: HOLLIS – 86 days in 1956
2: BLACKWELL – 86 days in 1956
3: HEALDTON – 83 days in 1980
4: WALTERS (Mesonet) – 83 days in 1998
5: CHATTANOOGA – 82 days in 1998
6: WOODWARD – 81 days in 1896
7: HOLLIS – 81 days in 1952
8: HOLLIS – 81 days in 1939
9: FREDERICK – 81 days in 1954
10: CHATTANOOGA – 79 days in 1980
(note: Temperature data wa missing for Blackwell on 9/6/1956 but nearby stations show it would not have been a 100-degree day)
2011 100-degree days in a year (Mesonet only)
1: GRANDFIELD – 64
2: ALTUS – 62
3: HOLLIS – 59
4: TIPTON – 56
5: MANGUM – 53
6: ERICK – 52
7: WALTERS – 51
8: (tie) BESSIE – 48
BUTLER – 48
RETROP – 48
Today is the seventh day this year Oklahoma City has had a high temperature of 105 degrees or above, National Weather Service, Norman
Today is the 34th day in 2011 for Oklahoma City to have a triple digit high temperature. Seven of those days have had temperature at or above 105 degrees. The temperature at Will Rogers World Airport had already reached 105 by 3 p.m.
The record for Oklahoma City for July 27 is 105 degrees in 1946 and 1986. So the 105 has already tied that today.
Source: National Weather Service National Hurricane Center
“THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE NEAR THE
YUCATAN CHANNEL CONTINUES TO BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED…AND RADAR
DATA FROM MEXICO SUGGESTS THAT A CIRCULATION COULD BE FORMING ABOUT
50 MILES NORTHEAST OF CANCUN. IF CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE…A
TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD DEVELOP LATER TODAY. INTERESTS IN THE
NORTHEASTERN YUCATAN PENINSULA…AS WELL AS THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN
GULF OF MEXICO…SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM AS IT
MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH
CHANCE…80 PERCENT…OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS
SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THIS SYSTEM LATER TODAY.”
Michael Jeffcoat. Oklahoma State University Extension, Jefferson County.
Short-term concerns: Lack of water for stock in many areas.
Long-term concerns: Water, forage. lack of adequate hay supplies.
Pastures will need quite a bit of rest time for recovery after rain in adequate amounts to establish soil profile moisture. Producers are struggling to find adequate hay amounts to get through the year.
Bob Leadford, Oklahoma State University County Extension Director, Garvin County
Short-term concerns: Hay, pasture, water, crop losses, livestock considerations
Long-term concerns: Hay, pasture, financial issues, livestock considerations
Example: Extreme losses in all areas in a given year, a lot of my producers are very diversified and have cattle, forages and crops and it is highly unusual to have losses in all areas in a given year. This nearly year-long drought has caused that to occur.
Leland McDaniel, Extension Educator – Carter County
Short Term Issues: My beef producers are running out of forage and water. They are liquidating/culling cows and/or trying to source hay and feed if their particular water resources will allow.
Long Term Issues: Financial survivability and identifying alternative enterprises that offer some promise of income and profitability. If the drought persists into fall and winter, my producers will be looking at an additional $300 – $400 per cow in costs between now and next spring (when the hole gets too deep – quit digging!) Small or occasional rains, even 2-3 inches, at this point will not abate the situation. We need a lot of rain over a long period of time to replenish soil moisture.
Example: This is the most serious situation in my 21 years of service. Many of my producers have already partially liquidated their herds due to lack of forage and/or water. Many are on the verge of selling out. If this drought persists much longer, we are looking at a number of beef producers being taken out of the business. This may end up being a defining moment in reshaping our Oklahoma beef industry. If it continues, there is concern that at some point, due to reduced regional inventory, that we begin losing infrastructure, such as local auction facilities, etc. Unfortunately, the mid-sized producer who is dependent upon his beef enterprise as his primary subsistence will likely incur the most financial stress. The small, hobby producer who can, and is willing, to supplement the enterprise with one or two off-farm incomes, the larger producers who do not have land payments and have little or no operating expense payments, or those producers who are willing to adapt their beef production systems may be the primary survivors.
Marty G. New, Comanche County Extension Educator
Short term issues for producers are water and forage (grazing and hay).
Long-term issues: Hay and feed (prices and availability of each)
Example: Producers are having to disperse their operation due to lack of water or forage or both.
Keegan Varner, Ag Educator, Johnston County, Southeast Oklahoma.
What are the short-term issues facing producers in your county? In the short-term our cattle producers are quickly running out of hay I would say that 95% are already feeding hay supplies that in a normal year shouldn’t have to be fed until winter months. Another issues is ponds and creeks are running out of water.
What are the long-term issues? The long- term issues are replacing hay supplies that cattle producers have depleted. In many cases this could take up to 2-3 yrs. Depending on how much moisture we receive. Another thing cattle producers are facing is depleting their cow herds to meet the forages (hay supplies) that they have. It could take some time to re-stock their cattle inventories.
Please give me an example that is very representative of the hardships in your area.
There is a one producer for example, that has decided to totally sell out his cowherd. The reasons being is that he is out of any standing forage to speak of and he cannot afford to buy any hay, if he could find some to buy.
Any additional comments? There is always rain at the end of a drought.
David L. Nowlin, Caddo County OSU Extension Service
Difficult to break down into short term and long term. Caddo County has the most cow/calf operations of any county in Oklahoma, so they drought is hitting our county hard.
Cattle producers (cow/calf operations) are primarily forage producers, in order for the cattle business to be profitable they need to be able to produce most of their grass for the summer and hay for the winter. When grass pastures aren’t growing due to the drought they must feed left over hay and most of those supplies are now gone, and with the drought conditions they also cannot produce hay for the upcoming winter months. The first thing many producers did was cull their herds to make sure they were not feeding any more cattle than necessary.
“Cattlemen have some challenging decisions to make very soon that will affect their operations for years to come. If we can get rain in the next few weeks, producers still have time to produce some grass forage and possibly even harvest some hay. If not, a long-term plan will have to be made by mid-August. Here are some options producers are thinking about: Purchase hay and pay high prices and shipping. This will solve the problem for the short term, but will be very expensive to continue through the winter; Sell the herd, and plan to buy back next year. Cattle numbers nationwide are the lowest they have been in many years, so it is a pretty good assumption that the cattle could cost more when it is time to buy back. Producers who do not have good financing for a feeding program may be forced into this option. It is probably the least economically feasible; Keep the herd and set up a feeding plan. This can possibly be done for $1.25 to $2.00 per head per day. If you have several hundred head of cattle you will need to have your finances in good shape. However, this option could cost less than restocking if we have a wet Spring in 2012; Sell the herd and retire. So as you can see, rain in the next few weeks is critical, and it may already be too late in some areas of the state. Anyway you look at it, the drought has been very devastating to livestock producers. Pray for rain.”
Tom Smith, Extension Educator, Pushmataha County
What are the short-term issues facing producers in your county? 1. Most summer grasses have long since stopped growing and turned brown. There is very little forage left for livestock to consume, and what remains is of very poor nutritional value. This reduces gain on animals to be sold this year as well as reduces the number of animals becoming pregnant for next year’s income. Most ranches are selling much earlier in the year than normal, and at lighter weights. As cattle are sold by the pound and younger animals weigh less, this results in fewer dollars for the rancher. 2. Creeks have stopped flowing and, in some cases, the deep holes are drying up. Some ponds have also gone dry. Some pastures that may still have a small amount of forage cannot be utilized because there is no water for the animals to drink. 3. There is an increased risk of “blue-green algae” (cyanobacteria) in ponds and non-flowing streams, which can cause toxicity problems including death of animals that drink it. 4. Certain forages, primarily johnsongrass in this county, have increased risk of accumulating nitrates and/or prussic acid during and immediately after a drought. These chemicals can be very toxic to animals by causing almost immediate suffocation at the cellular level. Nitrates prevent the red blood cells from carrying oxygen, and prussic acid prevents the cells from being able to take oxygen from the red blood cells. Hay baled from these plants, including baled corn stalks, can also contain high nitrate levels. Also, as preferred plants are consumed, hungry livestock will then eat weeds such as lamb’s quarter, ragweed, redroot pigweed and other plants, many of which may be toxic. 5. The first cuttings of hay meadows produced 30% to 50% of normal, and I have not talked to a single person who expects to get a second cut, much less a third one. Producers here in southeastern Oklahoma have brought in hay from as far as Kansas and Missouri, and others are searching. While the initial purchase price of hay in those areas is relatively reasonable, trucking costs may exceed the purchase price. And they are not just needing hay for the winter, some are feeding hay now because they are out of grass but do not want to completely sell out. 6. FIRE! Recently, a truck drove almost 15 miles from the Atoka-Pushmataha County line while dispersing hot metal fragments along the highway. This resulted in 16 fires ranging in size from a few square feet (I put out 3 of these with a shovel and my big feet!) up to 40 or more acres. Trucks from 5 volunteer fire departments responded, and one volunteer fireman lost several precious bales of hay that he had just baled last week.
What are the long-term issues? 1. Reduced cow herd numbers, not just from the sale of cows, but also because producers are selling the heifers they had planned to keep for replacements. Last Tuesday, the McAlester Union Livestock Auction reported heifers made up 51% of the total sales for that day. Normally, that number may reach 42-45%. While income for this year is increased, revenue will be drastically reduced for several years due to having fewer animals to sell. And this comes at a time when cattle prices are near record levels, with forecasts of high prices to remain for several years. 2. Because plants were stressed from drought and many died, pastures next year will produce less grass for livestock. As a result, undesirable plants and weeds will be more of a problem. Fertilizer (expensive even in the best of times) will be needed to rebuild these pastures. 3. With less plant cover on the soil, when the rains do come, there will be increased soil erosion. This not only affects pastures, but impacts stream and pond water quality as well. 4. Depression/Mental health. Several ranchers have told me that they would have been in decent financial condition “If I could have just held on.” I have talked with 2 elderly ranchers in the past week who say they are selling all of their animals and will quit. Ranching is all these men have ever done. I saw how it affected my father when he sold out many years ago, and I fear these gentlemen will be affected in the same manner and that it will shorten their lives. 5. The overall economy of this county will be hurt. Ranchers and hay producers buy more than feed, seed, fertilizer and fuel. They also buy clothes, groceries, furniture, appliances, vehicles, building materials, and countless other items. 6. Shortage of hay and the expense of bringing it in from other areas will result in some cows being thinner than desired when they calve next spring, resulting in reduced fertility and fewer calves (and fewer dollars) in 2013. Some ranchers are considering planting wheat and/or rye for fall and winter forage, but the drought in the wheat belt last spring means that seed wheat and rye will be scarce and expensive. Now factor in the fact that Assistant State Climatologist Gary McManus was quoted in Ron Hays’ Oklahoma’s Farm News Update today as saying “Drought is expected to persist or intensify over most of Oklahoma through October 31.” That does not encourage me to spend money on seed and fertilizer.
Please give me an example that is very representative of the hardships in your area. 1. The volunteer fireman I mentioned earlier had expended much time and effort to locate the absentee owner of some land that had not been grazed this year. Although the land was rough and the grass was of poor quality, he and his wife cut, raked and baled it for hay. Unfortunately, before he could remove it from that field, yesterday’s fire destroyed a significant portion of it. 2. Another local rancher has spent the past 3 days in Kansas and Nebraska in search of high quality hay at an affordable price.
Any additional comments? 1. One rancher said last night that he feels like the donkey pulling the cart with a carrot on a stick out in front of it. He said that, no matter how hard he tries, the prize is always just out of reach. 2. THANK GOD FOR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS! These people are HEROES!
Stan Wright, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Harmon County:
Frustration is the biggest short term issue. I have never seen the farmers work as hard as they have this year trying to raise a cotton crop. Many fields have been replanted two or three times because of the extreme heat and wind. In many fields the seed germinated and started to grow but it was impossible to get enough water on the field before the soil dried out and the plant died. In our area we have the Blain Aquifer to irrigate from. This aquifer can recharge quickly if there is suitable rain. With the drought numerous irrigation wells are going dry daily. Many irrigated cotton fields have already been disasterd out by Federal Crop Insurance. Because of the numerous federal crop insurance claims many farmers still have not received claim payments for this year’s wheat crop. This puts a bind on the farmer in paying bills and making loan payments.
The long-term issues are all the businesses in southwest Oklahoma that rely on a cotton crop that will be dramatically lower this year. To start, are the gins that gin the cotton and the labor that counts on a job at the gins. You also have module trucks that pick up the cotton from the field and deliver it to the gin. There income will be down if not gone all together. The effects will trickle down throughout the businesses in local communities simply because there will be no “new” money. Agriculture is one of two businesses or industries that put new money into the economy, not only in local areas but the nation. Agriculture accounts for about 25% of our GNP. Hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses rely on agriculture to do well so they are able to sell their products and services. You have equipment dealers, fertilizer, fuel, seed, chemicals, etc. This current drought will have an impact on all economically in some form or other.
Ranchers are liquidating cows in our area because of the drought. In the last 6 weeks approximately 5,000 cows have been liquidated according to our local sale barn. If the drought continues thru September or October all…yes all the cows will be liquidated in Harmon County. Our cattle producers have spent a lifetime in building the herds they have and many are older and probably won’t try to start over. Another worry is our pastures. Many have had to graze the pasture bare trying to hang on to their herd. With the extreme temperatures and wind and no moisture profile in the land it is possible that some of the grass may not come back unless it starts to rain soon. Feed costs for cattle have gone up substantially as well. Many of our producers buy stocker cattle to graze wheat in the fall. If the drought continues this will be another hole in our economy.
Another issue we are already facing is the possibility of another wheat disaster for next year. If we don’t start receiving very substantial rainfall, this year’s wheat crop will not come up or if it does it will die. There is no moisture in the ground. Two or three inches of rain will not be enough, as it will evaporate and dissipate quickly. We need several inches over a period of about two months.
Federal Crop Insurance provides a safety net for farmers, but it will be hard to survive a multiple year disaster. In our area most producers by crop insurance at the 65% level because of premium expense versus guarantees. This is like a 35% deductible on your home or autos. When a farmer has losses on crops his guarantee per acre goes down and premium goes up for the next year.
Roger Gribble, OSU Extension northwest area agronomist
What are the short-term issues facing producers in your area? Poor growth of grass and then absolutely no regrowth of grass.
Planted forage crops used for grazing or hay have not produced leaving very little forage for winter feeding programs.
Planted grain crops have little to no yield potential and cannot cover the costs of establishing the crop.
What are the long-term issues? Loss of income for the summer crop growing season. Producers are selling livestock ahead of the time normally reserved for their programs.
Please give me an example (you can just refer to someone as a producer and not by name if you’d like) that is very representative of the hardships in your area?
For a producer in Northwest Oklahoma it would take about $260 per acre to establish an acre of corn. Salvage value for that corn right now a silage is about $160. Insurance will help cover some of that loss, but not all.
How does this drought compare to what you’ve seen in the past?
I have seen producers face many hardships during my time in northwestern Oklahoma. The timing of this drought has been the worst. Producers have been more aggressive with the crop rotation programs and attempts at reduced tillage programs only to get hit by a period of limited rainfall. We would have hoped for better moisture when changes are being made.
.REGIONAL WEATHER DISCUSSION…
SCATTERED SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE TO DECREASE THROUGH 9 AM OVER PARTS
OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA. THE SHOWERS GENERALLY WILL AFFECT AREAS FROM
WEST SIDES OF OKLAHOMA CITY NORTH AND NORTHEASTWARD TO AROUND
GUTHRIE AND STILLWATER. INDIVIDUAL SHOWERS WILL DRIFT TOWARD THE
SOUTH OR SOUTHWEST AT ABOUT 5 MPH. DUE TO LIMITED COVERAGE OF THE
SHOWERS… MOST AREAS WILL LIKELY REMAIN DRY THIS MORNING.
915 PM CDT TUE JUL 26 2011
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK COVERS NORTHERN…WESTERN…
CENTRAL…AND SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA…AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS.
NO THUNDERSTORMS ARE ANTICIPATED THROUGH TONIGHT.
WITH THE LOSS OF DAYTIME HEATING AND VERY WARM MID-LEVEL
TEMPERATURES… THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT IS NOT EXPECTED THROUGH THE
REMAINDER OF TONIGHT.
VALID THROUGH 700 AM CDT WEDNESDAY JUL 27.
PROBABILITY OF THUNDERSTORMS OCCURRING IN THE
NWS NORMAN COUNTY WARNING AREA…LESS THAN 5 PERCENT.
OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER…
THE POSSIBILITY OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS CONTINUES. A HEAT ADVISORY
REMAINS IN EFFECT.
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY…
THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS THURSDAY AS A WEAK SURFACE
FRONT APPROACHES NORTHERN OKLAHOMA. THUNDERSTORMS ALSO WILL BE
POSSIBLE IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AS A MID-LEVEL
SUBTROPICAL SYSTEM MOVES NORTHWEST FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO.
OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER…
DANGEROUS HEAT WILL PERSIST. A HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT
THROUGH THURSDAY. WILDFIRE POTENTIAL WILL ALSO REMAIN HIGH.