Drought Impacting California Cattle Industry

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bay Area cattle ranchers are having to shell out thousands of dollars to feed their herds, who don't have access to the grass they are used to with a lack of rain. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014)

    The California cattle industry also is being affected by the drought.

    In the South Bay, cattle ranchers are having to shell out thousands of dollars to feed their herds, who don't have access to the grass they are used to with a lack of rain.

    Justin Fields, a cattle rancher, has to feed his 500 cattle hay so they can survive. But he's also wondering if he can survive the growing costs for having to purchase 175 tons of hay this season -- a huge expense that cost him nearly $50,000.

    In addition, Fields' cattle is thirst too. A water hole on his property is bone dry and covered with grass.

    The cows instead have been drinking from another spring, but Fields said if rain doesn't come soon he may be forced to shell out more dollars to haul in water.

    Fields was forced to sell some of his herd to offset the additional costs.

    "We've sold some of our yearling cattle already," he said. "We are pretty much doing anything necessary."