Drought conditions making it tough for California cattle ranchers to keep herds

YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Drought conditions are beginning to take a toll on some California cattle ranchers.

The lack of rain and annual wildfires are forcing some to sell off their herds.

Casey Stone and his family operate a ranch in the hills of Yolo County.

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In the last ten years, two droughts and several wildfires have forced him to sell off 30 to 40 percent of his herd simply because there is not enough grass to graze on or water to drink.

"You're keeping the factory that produces that income year after year and if you have to sell your cow herd. You can't just replenish that factory. It takes two years to get a breeding cow," Stone said.

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Bringing in water and feed from other sources means the extra cost will be passed on to consumers at the supermarket.

The California Cattlemen's Association said that because it doesn't make sense for everyone to do that, many ranchers are going out of business as conditions are expected to worsen.
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