Lack of rain impacting Valley cattle ranchers

March 15, 2013 12:35:10 AM PDT
Wet winter conditions mean plenty of tall grass in the foothills and in pastures. It serves as free cattle feed for ranchers but it's disappearing fast.

Rain has given rolling hills a nice green color and beef cattle plenty of clover, vetch and filleree to feed on. The plants all grow in pastures and help the cows put on weight.

But the sunny skies we're enjoying are of major concern to cattle rancher roger tweedy.

Roger Tweedy, cattle rancher said, "if we don't get some rains in the next week or two that grass will be starting to dry out and die on us and that means you gotta have pasture to go to or buy extra hay."

The pastures may be green but they're not lush. Many cattle ranchers have been forced to buy hay to keep the cows fed. Tweedy spends about 250 dollars for a ton of hay each day. In normal years...he doesn't have to supplement pasture grass feed with hay until May.

Tweedy raises 120 head of Angus cattle in the foothills. On this day he was flooding a pasture in Sanger so his cows will have plenty to feed on when he moves them there in a few months.

Ranchers say if you can't afford to feed them you have no choice but to sell your cattle earlier than planned. With so many farmers and ranchers needing hay sometimes it is in short supply.


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