Sheep Farmers Welcome Wet Weather

FRESNO, Calif. Once-dormant fields are now producing plenty of feed. Sheep spend much of their day fattening up in a Clovis pasture. Storms which padded the snowpack also sprouted oats, barley and tall wild grasses.

The rain means Ryan Indart doesn't have to pay for extra feed. Indart is a third-generation farmer and sheep rancher. Typically, sheep are moved around the Valley in search of suitable grazing areas. Indart said, "In a real wet year like this year we're up in the hills near I-5 right now and the feed couldn't be better."

You may notice more sheep grazing in fields as you venture out into the country, especially alfalfa fields. The practice also benefits the farmers who lease their land. "It saves them a trip through the field, saves them starting a tractor and paying their guy to go through and cut that hay down," said Indart.

Indart calls it a double bonus. The rain helps replenish the water supply while also providing feed for sheep and cattle.

Indart adds this is also a nervous time because he also grows cherries, which are ready to bloom. Storms knock buds off trees and can greatly reduce a crop.

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