Farmers Find Ways To Make Water Last - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Farmers Find Ways To Make Water Last

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ARDMORE, OK -- A severe drought has farmers across southern Oklahoma thirsting for steady rain.

But with showers few and far between, farmers in the region are using creative methods to make every drop of water count.

Before last weekend, farmers say crops weren't looking too good.

"It was looking pretty sad," said Jim Moore, a farmer who operates just outside of Thackerville.

Jim Moore says milo typically does better than other crops with heat stress.

"It doesn't matter what crop it is," said Moore. "Its all got to have some water."

Moore says after three inches of rain, his milo should have a respectable yield this season.

"It's just a huge difference what a good rain will do for you," said Moore.

While Moore farms in a majority of dry fields, fellow farmer Anthony Reed fills in the gaps between rains with a pivot irrigation system.

"It'll allow you to make a good crop in our adverse weather because sooner or later through July and August we're going to get dry," said Reed.

But costs have risen in recent years.

"It would be astronomical," said Moore, on the cost of an irrigation system. "A system like this right here would cost well in excess of over $100,000 complete."

Leaving farmers to look for other ways to save money and water.

Another piece of equipment farmers use to conserve every drop of water is the strip till plow. Row units will help get the ground ready for planting. The plow is designed for the middle area to leave last year's crop undisturbed creating a stubble which will protect against wind erosion and help preserve moisture already in the soil.

Reed says the plow is now a key component in his operation.

"Therefore we're able to conserve moisture and give the crop a better chance," said Reed.

But both farmers say they're hoping for more help from above.

"It's free and it just does a better job," said Reed.

"Nobody does it like mother nature," said Moore.

Both Reed and Moore estimate crops in the area could use another six to seven inches of rain to produce sufficient yields.