Okla. wheat farmers plant amid cautious optimism

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Despite ongoing drought conditions _ Oklahoma wheat farmers are busy planting their winter crop with what one agreed is cautious optimism.

Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte said Friday that 75 percent of the 2012 crop is estimated to have been planted.

Farmer Joe Kelly in Altus says the moisture level of the topsoil remains low _ but with wheat priced currently at about $8.50 per bushel he's decided to plant 1,500 acres this year in hopes that rains will come.

The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows 99 percent of Oklahoma in severe, extreme or exceptional drought.

However the amount of the state in extreme or exceptional drought _ the two worst categories _ is down from 80 percent last week to just under 67 percent this week.