Cattlemen face shortages

US - As area cattlemen head into 2007 they are facing a double size problem from 2006.
calendar icon 3 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The extremely dry conditions of 2006 meant that many farmers were not able to grow as much hay and feed as they needed to get though the winter.

With supply down and demand high, the price of feed is double what farmers were having to pay the same time a year ago.

Some of the hardest hit area is to the south of Pratt where feed production is way down. Registered angus rancher Richard Poland is from the Isabel area. He had planted sedan grass for feed but it didn't produce a crop.

"We had planted sedan but it burned up. It was supposed to get us through the first half of winter," Poland said. "It was basically a total loss."

They tried to swath what was left of the 200 dry land acre crop but in an ironic twist, it rained and got the windrows wet. When it dried out it wasn't worth baling, Poland said.

He did get some good feed from an after harvest planting but he still had to purchase about half the hay he needs for the year.

He purchased some sedan hay from a neighbor and had to pay $80 a ton which is double the usual $40 a ton, Poland said.

The high cost of feed forced Poland and other ranchers to make decisions on reducing the size of their herds.

Source: The Pratt Tribune
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