July 17, 2008--Bent County faces poor grazing conditions, drought (La Junta Tribune-Democrat)

Bent County ranchland is extremely dry this summer and grazing conditions correspondingly very poor.I would say this is the worst year of the drought so far as to grazing conditions, rancher Tom Wallace said this week. He said cows are grazing stored up grass from previous growing seasons. There has been little new growth this year. Calves on his ranchlands are from 100 to 150 pounds lighter than they would normally be at this stage of their growth. He noted that while lighter calves will bring a premium when sold to feeders — because they have more weight to gain — the premium would not offset the market losses from their much lighter weights. Grass is in such short supply some ranchers are already supplementing the sparse grazing by feeding their cows and calves hay.

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