Farmers Say Sesame Crop is Doing Well in Drought

Published 07/25 2012 05:47PM

Updated 07/25 2012 08:52PM

    The Texoma drought doesn't seem to be going away any time soon, so local farmers are being forced to change the farming practices they've known for years.
    Matthew McAlister, a local farmer, says, "Used to, you had wheat and cotton farmers.  Around here, you said you farmed, you farmed wheat and cotton.  That's all anybody every though of."
    They're faced with the challenge of finding a crop that can hold its own in the drought, and they've found one that can do just that: sesame.
    "It's actually very heat and drought tolerant," McAlister says.
    Justin Moore, who also farms sesame, says, "Sesame does better in drier conditions.  It's hot and dry in this area, so sesame's doing a little bit better."
    The benefits from the sesame plants are two-fold.
    Not only will farmers get a good crop from the sesame plant, but the plants will also enrich the soil, which will help future crops.
    "Sesame does break up the ground and puts a little nitrogen back in the ground," Moore says.
    They say it will help keep the soil nutrient-rich for the wheat crop, which is coming up next.
    They put the sesame crop in the ground in early June and expect to harvest it sometime in October.
    Once harvested, the seeds will go to a handling facility in Iowa Park, and will then be transported to a company in Hobart, OK.
    From there, they'll be bottled, used for hamburger buns, or be turned into sesame oil.

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