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Lack Of Feed Locally Increases Costs, Stress For Area Ranchers

Aug. 16, 2011

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Marc Scott has long grown, baled, and sold hay as part of his ranching operation just north of Riesel. But the drought has curtailed the hay portion of that business this year. His cattle have grazed the pasture down to the nub, a scenario that Gene Hall of the Texas Farm Bureau is playing out all across the state.

The unyielding ground means that the crops that many ranchers count on not just to feed their livestock, but to augment their income and allow them to maintain their herd, aren't coming in. The costs go up, but there's no hay, or corn for instance, to sell.

Marc Scott doesn't have enough hay to feed his own livestock, so he clearly has none to sell to the customers with whom he's built relationships over the years. Says Scott, the failed attempts to diversify and the lack of feed locally are causing him to make extreme decisions.

Tomorrow, Marc Scott and Gene Hall talk about how the impact of the drought will be felt by consumers, and what it means for the Texas economy. You can hear yesterday's story online at www.kwbu.org/news. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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