Local farmers and ranchers welcome this week's storms

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The beef cattle on a Fresno County foothill ranch sounded excited over the prospect of feeding on alfalfa hay. (KFSN)

Local farmers and ranchers welcome this week's storms.

The beef cattle on a Fresno County foothill ranch sounded excited over the prospect of feeding on alfalfa hay. Four years of drought have killed off many of rancher Roger Tweedy's trees.

But recent rains have brought greenery back to his pastures, enough for the cattle to forage through the natural grass. "The calves they can eat real well right now," Tweedy said. "They're starting to eat grass. The future looks bright as long as these rains keep coming every two weeks."

Only now is the moisture keeping the pastures wet. It's been so dry out here the rains soaked deep into the ground. "Well, I noticed the first two storms the ground just absorbed all of it," Tweedy said. "There was not runoff."

Tweedy figures the next round of storms will cause the grasses to sprout tall. "I think the moisture's pretty much to the top of the ground right so the rains that we do get will make this grass come on fast," he said.

He spent $20,000 on hay this past year just to supplement feed for his cattle. So, Tweedy could use a break from the dry cycle these past few years.

In recent years, storms would help the grass sprout, but dry conditions which followed caused the grass to die off.

Tweedy hopes a wet winter keeps his ranch full of cattle feed this year.
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