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Weather wreaking havoc on local farmers


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    OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (KOCO) — Don Eckroat usually has already had his first cutting in his hayfield by June 1, and he usually has a sign showing the prices for hay.

This year, however, prices aren’t listed on the sign just yet. He told KOCO 5 that’s because the hay hasn’t been able to grow like it usually does.

“It’s starting to get there, but it’s … it should have already been. We should have already, basically, had this cut and gone by now,” Eckroat said.

The lack of growth is caused by numerous factors, including not having enough sunlight and rain this spring. The biggest factor, however, has been the cold this year.

There were 294 hours below freezing in February. Then, the grass took a beating by Oklahoma’s late freeze in April.

“Because what happens … here’s the black, and this is kind of what you see right there. There’s what happened. It froze,” Eckroat said.

Because of the latest harvest, Eckroat told KOCO 5 that his horse customers are going to be impacted by the delay.

“There’s not any really good hay left in the country right now,” he said. “Everybody is scrambling for hay. And, hopefully, within the next two weeks, we’re going to have some hay for them.”

The cost of hay might go up since fertilizer this year has cost 20% to 30% more than usual. Eckroat thinks there’s going to be less hay than normal this year.

“It’s all up to God to take care of us. And it’ll all balance out, and we’ll start getting some heat. And then, we’ll be tired of it,” he said. “For right now, we’ve got to put up with what He’s given us, and certainly this kind of weather right now as it’s good for some of us, it’s just not good for everybody.”

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