drought

Hunger in Oklahoma
9:25 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Regional Food Bank Struggles from Drought-Induced Livestock Shortage

Regional Food Bank volunteers fill food sacks for distribution in one of its children's feeding programs.
Credit Quinton Chandler / KOSU

Recent years of drought have led to a huge reduction in Oklahoma’s cattle population and record high prices. This year is no different.

Less rain means less grazing, a weaker wheat harvest, higher prices for grain, and on and on the costs go. But, the drought may also make it more difficult for Oklahoma farmers to lend a hand in the state’s fight against hunger.

KOSU’s Quinton Chandler reports less rain may mean fewer livestock donations to the Regional Food Bank.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water?

Allen Peterson's farm, near the city of Turlock, Calif., lies next to a concrete-lined canal full of water. He's one of the lucky ones.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:29 am

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:41 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Drought in Southwest Oklahoma Dented But Not Dead After Days of Rain

The May 27th update of the U.S. Drought Monitor showing some improvement in southwest Oklahoma.
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor shows some improvement in the hardest hit part of the state — southwest Oklahoma — after a very wet Memorial Day weekend.

Drovers CattleNetwork’s Angela Bowman looked at the impact recent rains have had across the southern plains, and found that while the last week helped, it won’t take long for drought to fully reassert itself, and it’s too late for the state’s wheat crop:

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StateImpact Oklahoma
5:08 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Oklahoma’s Drought-Withered Wheat Harvest Could Have National Effects

Brothers and business partners Fred and Wayne Schmedt stand in their family's wheat field near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Four years of extreme drought has withered the agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states like Oklahoma, where farmers are bracing for one of the worst wheat crops in state history.

And Oklahoma’s withered wheat harvest could have national consequences.

Wayne Schmedt adjusts his faded blue cap and crouches down in a wind-whipped field near Altus in southwest Oklahoma. His brother and business partner, Fred, grins and waits. The jokes start before the dusty rain gauge is pulled from the cracked dirt.

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Water Quality and Ecology
7:42 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Streams Removed from Impaired Waters List Because of Better Farming

Bird Creek in northeast Oklahoma is one of nine streams no longer considered impaired due to high turbidity.
Credit GRANGER MEADOR / FLICKR

The drought goes on, and resources are strained, but there is some positive news to report about Oklahoma’s water.

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3:44 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Parched: A New Dust Bowl Forms in the Heartland

Lead in text: 
National Geographic looks at the Oklahoma panhandle and asks, "Are we having another Dust Bowl?"
Four years into an unrelentingly mean, hot drought, a new Dust Bowl engulfs the same region that was the geographic heart of the original.
Climate Change and Oklahoma
8:41 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Protecting Our Resources Topped Discussions at KOSU's On Tap

State Impact's Joe Wertz begins discussion on Climate Change at KOSU's On Tap

On Wednesday, April 30th, KOSU in collaboration with State Impact Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange held a discussion at Picasso's cafe in the Paseo District.  

State Impact's Joe Wertz and Logan Layden led the discussion with Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Clay Pope and David Engle, Director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Center at Oklahoma State University. The packed crowd discussed climate change and protecting the state's valuable land and water.

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