Rainfall brings relief to Oklahoma cotton crop

Rains that began in May are bringing slight relief and some hope to drought-stricken southwestern Oklahoma.

Farmer and rancher Terral Tatum near Grandfield told The Oklahoman that three inches of rain in the past 30 days has been enough for his cotton crop to germinate and put enough water in his ponds to support his cattle through the summer.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows about 48 percent of the state is experiencing extreme or exceptional drought , the report's two most severe categories, down from 61 percent on May 20. Several rounds of rain that began with a storm system in the state May 21 brought moisture to areas of Oklahoma that are in deepest drought, especially southwestern Oklahoma.