Drought hits local ranchers
Dry conditions weigh on cattle industry
BY ALYSSA MEIER
BHG News Service
With over half of the state facing extreme drought conditions, local ranchers are growing more and more desperate for rain, and for hope.
“It’s been challenging to stay positive,” Pablo Ronderos said. “It really makes a guy analyze his entire operation.”
Ronderos and his wife, Megan, ranch near Washburn, right in the center of the state’s growing drought. As of July 4, the U.S. Drought Monitor put 29 percent of the state in extreme drought conditions. Just a week later, that number had grown to 36 percent. Throughout the midwest, ranchers are feeling the effects of the lack in moisture as they turn to dismal hay production.
“Tough things we are dealing with is putting up enough hay,” Ronderos said, stated that this year, there is about half of what was produced last year. He said last year was half of what it was the year before. “So haying has been tough for two years, which makes a guy have to look for hay to buy.