Rain Brings Rangeland Grass

December 22, 2008 2:14:45 PM PST
The rain and snow are good news not only for Valley farmers, local Cattle Ranchers are also benefiting from the rain.Its nature's version of "come and get it" on the range.

In addition to serving as scenic backdrops lush green pastures provide a steady feed source for beef cattle.

Ranchers were glad to see the recent rains because the newly sprouted rangeland grasses help them cut feed costs.

They've been buying a lot of hay lately.

Jerry Prieto, Fresno Co. Ag Commissioner: "I know in my own small little operation where I have a pasture and a few head of cattle I've had to feed every day, alfafa, hay, and recently with the rains and pasture grass coming back I've been able to feed just every other day."

Small creeks are running again in some areas so ranchers don't have to provide supplemental water for their cattle.

It is a far cry from last March when drought conditions forced some ranchers to move their herds out of the area in search of suitable grazing areas.

"We had producers here in Fresno County that were shipping their animals as far away as Nevada because they couldn't find rangeland grass for them."

"They couldn't pay for that transportation cost back here again so they sold them off while they had them in Nevada so they don't have any animals here on the their rangeland."

Prieto says some of those ranchers are now buying back cattle and basically starting all over again, the rain is welcomed not only by those who grow the crops but also those who raise livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats.


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