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USDA declares most of Oklahoma an agricultural disaster

August 2, 2011 by  

Oklahoma has been affected by a severe drought.The United States Department of Agriculture recently declared most of Oklahoma a disaster area.

Seventy-four of the 77 counties in the Sooner State have been labeled disaster areas due to drought and wildfires, according to The Oklahoman. The far northeastern counties of Nowata, Craig and Ottawa were not named by the USDA.

The action by the Federal agency is in response to a June 10 request by Governor Mary Fallin, who asked that disaster be declared to help the State’s farmers. Now, these farmers are eligible for Federal aid from the Farm Service Agency.

The Red Cross offers a number of tips for people who are dealing with drought. There are many small steps that can be taken to ensure that as much water is conserved as possible, such as running the dishwasher only when it is full and starting a compost pile rather than using a garbage disposal.

Other ways to conserve water during a drought include checking the house for leaks, taking shorter showers and placing a bucket in the shower to catch excess water, which can be used for watering plants.

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  • Joy

    Its supposed to hit 112 degrees in Tulsa today and 114 degrees tomorrow. I think calling Oklahoma a disaster area is a mild understatement. We’re looking at 29 days straight of triple digit heat and vitually no rain now.
    All I can say is Texas is worse off than we are. I don’t think its rained in west Texas for over a year.

    • granny mae

      Joy,
      I understand where you are coming from. We have also had weeks of temps. in the 100′s and up ! The Suwannee river has all but dried up in some places. Sounds unreal, but it is true ! We have had some rain but not near enough. We got 3/4 inch last night but that is not enough when you realize this is all sand here ! These are some difficult times !

  • eddie47d

    The future will be more about water than any other product for survival. The aquifers that run under the USA are being depleted. The Ogallala aquifer is about 1/4 of what it use to be. That effects wells and irrigation water for farmers. The chemicals used in fracking can also make water useless and may contaminate ground water. So as we solve one problem another pops up.Then we have all the flooding in the South and Midwest so it can be a mixed bag.

    • Sam Boes

      Please stop spreading rumors and lies. The Ogallala Aquifer is not “1/4″ of what it used to be – there are parts which have been significantly drawn down, but most of the water is still there and still available for use. Look at any reputable web site and you will see the truth. As for fracking water and contamination – the locations where fracking is used, and the formations in which it is used, account for a very small part of ground water and generally are NOT located in or near the aquifers that supply water. And much of what is used for fracking is no different than what occurs NATURALLY in ground water in places like West Texas and New Mexico. Stop this panicmongering and learn to figure out what is true and what is a bunch of liberal/progressive environist propaganda designed to give the government more power over the minutiae of our daily lives.

  • anonymous

    we’ve been farming, ranching for a quarter of a century. what we are seeing is not Climate Change, it’s just “weather” and she is going to do her thing. One year it’s too much rain and the next, none at all. We sold our entire herd back in June. You can’t feed dirt to cattle. The gov is providing assistance but we know the rules. We’ve been there. Low interest loans to ranchers, farmers, recorded as income on next years taxes. The big guys may be able to absorb this but the little guys? It takes alot of money and sacrifice to raise this country’s food. But sometimes something happens that makes you take a good hard look. The weather is culling alot of us. Some may get back in some may take another route. It’s just the way it is.

    • granny mae

      anonymous,
      Doesn’t seem right that you can’t find grass enough to feed your cattle but some guy in Florida can pump water out of the aquifer to water his tobaco ! A non food, non necessary crop ! Strictly a money maker ! These guys do it every year and we have also been in a drought for years. We have put a water supply incase the water table gets so low our pump soesn’t work ! I think the farmers in the areas where there is plenty of water for now should be growing food and not tobaco. Oh well we can all take up smoking while we starve to death, and if we make it through this we can look forward to getting lung cancer ! Just doesn’t mae sense to me !

      • Sam Boes

        Ma’am, please go back and review your high-school geography. This is a BIG land – and just because someone is short of water in one place does not mean that other places don’t have plenty of water – indeed, too much. Friends of mine are working in south central South Dakota which had such bad drought for 10 years in the 90s and first part of the 00′s that the grandfather of a five-year-old boy told me his grandson had never seen snow. But that same area, in May-June-July of this year got almost 15 inches of rain in about six weeks (their normal annual precip is about 18 inches!). We can’t and should NOT pump water from one end of the continent to the other, just to make one-size-fits-all, and that applies even on a statewide basis. It may not be “fair” but MY grandmother told me “life isn’t fair.”

        • Christin

          Sam,

          A French company, ‘Nestle’, is pumping water out of Lake Michigan… the only lake in the Great Lakes Region solely on the American side… and selling it to China…

        • granny mae

          Sam Boes,

          Sir,
          I never said anything about pumping water from one place to another ! I simply stated that we here in Florida are also in a draught and have been for several years. I live in farm country and there are farmers here growing tobaco and using huge irrigation pumps to water acres and acres of tobaco (not a food crop which is needed) but a money crop that does more harm than good. Must be you are a smoker ! good for you, you can choose which way you want to go by starving or by smoking , matters not to me ! Since you know it all by geography I guess when the prices go up in the stores and many people can’t afford to buy their food we can put the blame on you because you don’t want anyone to talk about the crises in this country. In case you haven’t heard there are a lot of people out of work and can’t even get food stamps so how are they going to buy all this food you claim there is in this country and where is all this food you are claiming there is. I don’t see it! Who shops around your house? Not you. It doesn’t sound like you have been in a grocery store in quite a while ! I have and I’m telling you there is a shortage when some things are either rationed like has been done at Sams, or when they just aren’t on the shelves. I keep track of the cost of groceries and the price of corn at my stores has gone from $2.00 a dozen to 3for $2.00 that is corn on the cob, this year. Hamburger has gone from $1.98 a pound to $3.00 a pound and don’t even think of steak at $7 and $8 . a pound In the last 6 months ! Don’t even think of buying tomatoes in my area. I haven’t been able to afford to buy tomatoes in two years. If I can’t grow them I don’t eat them. I’m telling you there are shortages in my area of a lot of things and those are the things that have gone up in price. If you have that kind of money then you can buy them but is you don’t then you have to wait till they are about ready for the compost before the price comes down enough to afford them. I understand geography and I know that there are a lot of places in this country where we grow food but I also know that many places in this country have been hit by weather related disasters in the last several years and many just this year alone. These places have not been able to contribute to the over-all amount of food and grains needed in a year and to top tis all off it is happening around the world. We export a lot of food stuffs to countries that have none and now with our own shortage things are getting tight. So please Sir , before you go telling me about geography check your facts and please feel free to observe the mistle toe upon my coat tail !

  • Charles

    To all those farmers in Oklahoma who are hurting, I am sorry.

    • granny mae

      Charles,

      We will all be sorry in time, because they feed us ! No cattle no meat ! But what the heck we can always smoke a joint, or a cigarrette! Crazy isn’t it ?

  • FreedomFighter

    I clipped this from George Ure’s UrbanSurvival.com web site – but he in turn got it elsewhere.

    This one was apparently drawn up by a survivor of the Sarajevo war. But it is relevant to any crisis situation, from a mere short-term blackout to something like an economic depression (which is looming in front of us by the way; George Ure can explain the why and when) to any sort of natural disaster.

    Feel free to copy clip and paste for your own use as well….

    100 Items to Disappear First

    1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance etc.)

    2. Water Filters/Purifiers

    3. Portable Toilets

    4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.

    5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpileANY!)

    6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.

    7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.

    8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.

    9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar

    10. Rice – Beans – Wheat

    11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)

    12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)

    13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY – note – food grade if for drinking.

    (No idea what happened to 14 and 15…they disappeared….)

    16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.

    17. Survival Guide Book.

    18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)

    19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.

    20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)

    21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)

    22. Vitamins

    23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)

    24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.

    25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)

    26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)

    27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)

    28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)

    29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).

    30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels

    31. Milk – Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)

    32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)

    33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)

    34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit

    35. Tuna Fish (in oil)

    36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)

    37. First aid kits

    38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)

    39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies

    40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)

    41. Flour, yeast & salt

    42. Matches. {“Strike Anywhere” preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first

    43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators

    44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)

    45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts

    46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, “No. 76 Dietz” Lanterns

    47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience;Historic Times)

    48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting – if withwheels)

    49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers,etc

    50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)

    51. Fishing supplies/tools

    52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams

    53. Duct Tape

    54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes

    55. Candles

    56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)

    57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags

    58. Garden tools & supplies

    59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies

    60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.

    61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

    62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)

    63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel

    64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc

    65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats

    66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)

    67. Board Games, Cards, Dice

    68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer

    69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets

    70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)

    71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)

    72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.

    73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)

    74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)

    75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase

    76. Reading glasses

    77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)

    78. “Survival-in-a-Can”

    79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens

    80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog

    81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)

    82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky

    83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts

    84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)

    85. Lumber (all types)

    86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)

    87. Cots & Inflatable mattress’s

    88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.

    89. Lantern Hangers

    90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts

    91. Teas

    92. Coffee

    93. Cigarettes

    94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)

    95. Paraffin wax

    96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.

    97. Chewing gum/candies

    98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)

    99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs

    100. Goats/chickens (funny)

    From a Sarajevo War Survivor:

    Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war – death of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

    1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.

    2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.

    3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold’s.

    4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)

    5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.

    6. Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands.

    7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.

    8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

    FYI copied from another website.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • SmartAlice

      Love the list. Thanks for posting it.

    • Christin

      Freedom,
      Thanks for posting this list again… always a good reminder for everyone NOT to count on everything going the way we want it to and to be RESPONSIBLE and PREPARE…

    • granny mae

      Freedom Fighter,

      Great post and many thanks for it. My grandchildren are coming on here now and they will see it too. Thanks again !

  • Exbobbie

    It,s bad enough when Mother Nature decides to turn great farm land into deserts, my heart goes out to you all who are suffering, but here in LaLa land (California) we have had large areas of some of the most fertile farm land turned to dust because the government turned of the water to save a FISH, that’s right, a six inch fish on the endangered list. I wonder how bad or stupid it’s got to get before humans are placed on their (government’s) endangered lists.

    • Joy

      I think a lot of the American population is already there. Washington does not care about anyone but their chosen few elite entitites. Start stockpiling your food: with the Midwest flooded out and burned out, there WILL be food shortages this winter.

      • Sam Boes

        Joy, can you even read a map? Oklahoma is NOT the “Midwest” – and there are millions of acres of wheat, corn, soy, beans, and cattle land in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and even Missouri. STOP SCARING PEOPLE WITH BOGUS CLAIMS. Stop being a Chicken Little. YES, plan and prepare and store, but tell the truth and stop panicking yourself and others!

        • granny mae

          Sam stop being so insulting to people and grow up and get a life!

          • granny mae

            BTW, read that again, Ok was not flooded it is in a drought ! Joy was talking about the mid-west that has been flooded ! Sheeees !

    • granny mae

      Exbobbie,

      I was wondering if that fish that has caused so much trouble for the growers in California, could possibly be migrating to waters that are a more suitable temp. for them? I believe I read that the water temp. in the Pacific ocean has risen, and if that is so these fish could be moving to a cooler water temp. All these do-gooders that are so quick to judge never seem to consider other reasons for what is happening, it is always mans fault. I figure it must take a lot to raise the temp. of an ocean, and it would take a lot more than man to do it ! My guess is all the active volcanoes around the Pacific rim, (the ring of fire) may be more likely to be the cause. It may just be that the fish are moving to a better area for their survival. I remember one time , years ago that a woman on vacation to Florida was very irrate because she had come to the wildlife sanctuary along the Space Coast , looking to see the birds and wild life and she was mad because she didn’t see any ! It didn’t dawn on her that we were in a hard draught and the birds and other animals that were normally there had move to better pastures for survival and would probably return when things improved ! It did and they did a few years later but that stupid woman probably carried her ignorance for the rest of her life ! Same thing with that little fish in California. One day it will return and the soil for growing crops will never return because it will have blown away in the wind ! All because of ignorant people !

  • Joe Cullen

    The daily weather reports for our area of Oklahoma consistently show temperatures that are at least 8 to 10 degrees less than what our large dial thermometer shows.
    This instrument is set in the open in a wooden box on a pole faced away from the sun.
    Yesterday, 8/2 it was pegged at 120 by 4:00pm.
    Official temperatures in this area were 111 and 112 yesterday.
    We are a county next to the Texas panhandle.
    I have lived in the Sahara desert an area called the Sahel with the Peace Corps.
    Temperatures there got to 130 daily and never under 100 degrees at night during the hot months.
    For comparison I have never experienced a worst summer for heat than this one.
    Not even in the Sahara.
    The intensity of the sun has destroyed our garden even under intense watering and shading.
    Plants simply curl up and die.
    Those that are left alive are stunted.
    Our only producing garden plants are the watermelons and cantelope.
    Only because they are shaded part of the day by a large tree and in the afternoons by 4 rows of dried up killed corn stalks.
    But we have an apple crop, a small pear crop, a shriveled peach crop and a whopping large grape crop.
    The orchard is also under a watering system.
    We have lost some 10 trees on the property.
    Some young that were planted last year and some that have been in the ground for 6 years.
    The native trees here all look like they have lost 70% of their leaves. You can see through dense groves of trees. It looks like early fall when the trees are dropping leaves and getting ready for winter.
    We have three watering holes in the front yard for the animals.
    During the day we have a procession of turkies, quail, birds, small mammels and at night the deer, bobcats and coyotes.
    We see all their tracks in the dust if not themselves once in a while.
    For reference to the historical variablilty of weather and climate see the book called; “The Weather Conspiracy”.
    It has the historical explanaition of the long term changes in weather based on geological/chemical evidence.
    It is an old book now out of print.
    The thesis of this book is this: The last 170 years have been abnormally mild. Very condicive to the expansion of civilizations, production of food and mild climates/weather. This was the period of the Industrial Revolution.
    Any return to what is normal will entail extremes of summer and winter conditons. Reduced growing conditions. Spring and Fall seasons will be greatly reduced or non existent.
    For a good practical guide read Clif High’s reports called [The Shape Of Things To Come] based on his mining of the internet [14 years worth of experience] at his site called, halfpasthuman.com. The reports are only $10 and often very very good guides to the future.
    His reports feature much more than just weather and geological projections. He is up to report #11. Each usually runs 40 to 60 pages in length.
    I am US Air Force retired
    USDA, Soil Conservation Service retired
    Professional educator
    Former commissioned Police officer
    Minute Man with two muster calls to the US/Mexican border
    Peace Corps Volunteer
    70 years old and going to live to see Obama out of office
    Chance favors the prepared!
    Be very watchful for the black swan and unintended consequences

    A freeman and landowner

    • granny mae

      Joe Cullen,

      It sounds as though you have given a lot of service to this country in many areas, and I would like to thank you for that and also for the wealth of information you have shared with all of us ! Thanks !

  • acamscot

    Why does USDA limit the disaster to “agricultural” only

    • granny mae

      I don’t know and am just guessing but it may have to do with USDA!
      U-united S-states D-department of A-agriculture !

  • bucksnort

    Why has nobody made a correlation between the Great Depression and today?Wasnt Oklahoma called the dust bowl back then?The reason it was made into the Indian nations is that it is a dust bowl.There is a reason that the Indians didnt live there until after the treatise was signed.Thats right its a dust bowl.

    • granny mae

      bucksnort,

      You have a point there !

  • jopa

    I often wondered why there was not some type of Co-op between the farmers in different states when one is struck by drought the others would help out.More than likely I would say the price of beef is the main factor, however here in Pennsylvania there seems to be more hay than we need.I myself with my old Ford 9n use a brush hog and just mulch about 20 acres two or three times a year.This is a very common sight around here and there would be enough hay to feed hundreds of thousands of cattle that just gets plowed under year after year.One time traveling through Indiana I believe it was, there was a farmer mowing and baling in the median of an Interstate.I thought that was the greatest idea ever at the time and have only witnessed it once.Probably made too much sense and they decided to ban it hire some state workers and just mow it and let it rot.Oh well just a thought for today!

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