In Oklahoma, Worst Drought Since Dust Bowl

Grassfires tearing across South
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2011 1:35 PM CDT
In this March 14, 2011 photo, farmer Jim Freudenberger surveys his wheat crop in Coyle, Okla. Freudenberger is among thousands of farmers in the South dealing with a severe drought.   (AP Photo/Justin Juozapavicius)
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(Newser) – Oklahoma, home of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, is parched. The four months since Thanksgiving have been the driest since before the Dust Bowl in 1921, the AP reports, and the drought is raging from Louisiana to Colorado. Grass fires have torn through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Forty percent of the Lone Star State is covered by an extreme drought; almost all of Oklahoma is.

The biggest effect of the drought might be on the region's wheat crop. "For us already, we're going to suffer," says one farmer. "Probably two-thirds of our gross income has been wiped out." Some are even plowing under their crops to switch crops, according to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Ranchers, meanwhile, live in fear of more grass fires. "Right now, it's like gasoline," one said of his land.

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