Severe drought made 2006 one of the worst years on record for pastures and crops in our area, and some of the effects of the drought will still be felt in 2007.
The National Drought Monitor Web site indicates the area is in either extreme or exceptional drought. As if not having adequate good-quality water for cow herds isn't bad enough, there is little to no available standing forage going into winter at a time of record-high hay prices.
Pastures are quickly burning up due to the heat and dry conditions, resulting in ranchers quickly running out of grazeable pasture that provides the necessary energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Since the drought is covering such a large area, accessible supplemental hay and available rental pasture is not abundant in nearby areas.