Dry weather hitting Valley ranchers hard

FRESNO, Calif.

Cattle rancher Kim Oviatt is one of the few ranchers who haven't had to resort to bringing in costly feed for his cattle. No rain since November 20th means cattle ranchers in the foothills, including in Drum Valley, are having a tough time providing plentiful green food for their cows.

"You look at these hills behind me they're brown. This is January. They should be green. This grass should be strong and growing but it's not," cattle rancher Kim Oviatt said.

Oviatt says he's used to supplementing his cattle with feed during the dry summer months, but not in the winter.

He and other cattle ranchers are hoping for one thing, and soon: rain.

Cattle rancher Marshall Rubin sold 35 of his cows to Tulare County Stockyard this week.

"We're selling them because we want to get them off the grass we don't have," he said.

Rubin says he would have kept his cows longer, had the grass been greener on his property.

The Tulare County Stockyard says its staff has been inundated with calls from cattle ranchers looking to sell off some of their cows to save money.

"We have been really, really busy with a lots of the customer bringing cattle in because they're getting short hay and short no grass, and have to feed hay so we've been really busy," Roger Phillips of the Tulare County Stockyard said.

The dry weather has sent their business booming. Normally they have about 300 cows this time of year. This week they're expecting 1 thousand.

"Everybody's worried about the drought, about the rain," Phillips said.

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