Guymon, Okla. – Farmers are cutting back on crops and ranchers are selling off livestock in the Oklahoma Panhandle as the area is undergoing its severest drought in decades.
The Panhandle is going through its second driest year on record, with the current year being drier than the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.
"Basically anyone related to agriculture is hurting," says Alan Messenger, the district conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
His office is in Texas County, Okla. is one of the areas hit hard and Messenger has been trying to help farmers deal with the drought.
"There's irrigation, but there's only so much it can do," he said.
The U.S. Drought Monitor upgraded the situation in the region from Extreme to Exceptional, as rainfall in some areas like Boise City capped only one inch this year. The upgrade makes the Panhandle the worst hit region in the country, and comes as most of Oklahoma and the Midwest are drenched in floodwaters due to heavy rainfall.
In some cases, farmers have had their production reduced or completely wiped out. According to the Natural Agricultural Statistics Service, the drought is seriously affecting crops in the Southern Plains.
Ranchers are getting a double hit.
With natural meadows and grazing grounds in the region also affected, ranchers who normally buy feed for their livestock only in the winter are now forced to buy provisions for their animals much earlier.
As a result, high feed prices are making it even tougher for the ranchers to provide for their animals.
Travis Baker, a rancher living near Guymon, Okla., said conditions are getting harder because feed prices have doubled lately.
He says many of his friends and neighbors have sold off their cattle or had them shipped off elsewhere.
Farmers have had their production reduced or completely wiped out. According to the Natural Agricultural Statistics Service, the drought is seriously affecting crops in the Southern Plains.
Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry asked the United States Department of Agriculture for disaster assistance in nine counties. The USDA is considering aid for only two.
Local conservation officials in some counties asked the state to declare the counties as disaster areas.
Many farmers fear that if conditions do not improve, they may have to sell their farms and abandon their homelands.
Baker, whose ranch got a little rain last Friday, said of the drought continuing, for ranchers, "If it goes for two years, you're doing it for fun, because you're not making any money at it."
Fox News' Ahmad Shuja and the Associated Press contributed to this report.