Oklahoma is suffering from the worst drought to hit Southwestern areas of the United States since the 1950's.
GVs Dust whipped by wind on dry farmland (3 shots)
MV Corral and farm buildings on ranch (2 shots)
GV Cattle grazing (2 shots)
GV & CU Dry wheat crop (3 shots)
GV & CU Farmer on tractor preparing ground for autumn wheat crop (2 shots)
STV & GV Rake towed behind tractor and leaving dust (3 shots)
Initials BB/1608 TA/DW/BB/1629
N.B. The sound track includes commentary for guidance only.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Oklahoma is suffering from the worst drought to hit Southwestern areas of the United States since the 1950's. Even heavy rainfall could not save the winter wheat crop now and farmers are already concerned over planting the Autumn crop. All they can do is prepare the hard dry ground for planting and wait for rain. In three South western states rain-makers are standing by waiting for the appearance of clouds that can be artificially seeded. The latest fear is that the cattle market will also suffer; some states have already applied for federal Government loans to buy sheep and cattle feed.
SYNOPSIS: In the United States, farmers of Southwestern Oklahoma have been fighting a severe drought for the last eighteen months... and for the most part they have been losing.
The drought is the worst to hit the area since the nineteen-fifties. This year rainfall has been less than half the normal amount. Many ranchers, unable to buy cattle feed, have had to sell out.
This wheat should be waist-high and ready for harvest, but even a massive rainfall could not save it now...officials say more than a third of the winter wheat crop will be lost. In a few weeks it will be time to plant the autumn wheat crop.
The dry ground is unsuitable for planting so the farmers prepare the ground and wait. If it rains soon they can hope for a good autumn harvest... if the drought continues they say there is no reason to plant at all.