Drought Prompts Cattle Sell Off

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The rain is offering little relief for the drought. Conditions are getting so bad ranchers are having to sell off their cattle because they can't afford to feed them.

Ranchers come to the stockyard to buy and sell cattle.

"We're here because we're selling several of our calves because with everyone, grass is short," said cattle owner Linda Parish.

Parish says she typically sells calves in late July through October, but this summer like many, she's selling early because there's not enough food in pastures for cattle to eat.

"We have about a third of what we normally do or have in the past," said Parish.

"We've got about 400 out now in grass for 200,” said cattle owner Ron Williams. “We usually got grass for 1,000 this time of year, but it's been awful dry."

Farmers are turning to hay bales to keep their herds healthy, but now even that could put them at risk for feed in the winter.

Sebastian County Extension Agent Jesse Bocksnick with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says an upcoming conference at Arkansas Tech University is geared at helping those cattle owners make it through the drought.

"Where there's a will, there's a way, and we're going to talk about that at this conference, just different ways to recover and plan ahead if it does continue with this drought," said Bocksnick.

The drought management conference will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Arkansas Tech University Campus in Russellville. Admission is free.

"Our cups half full,” said Parish. “We're just waiting for the Lord to fill it up."

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