The Western States that make up nearly half the country continue to be plagued by severe drought. People, animals, and businesses are all facing extreme temperatures and strained water resources. This entire year has brought with it such severe conditions that many believe it is one of the worst droughts on record. Many impacted regions are even classified as being “severe” or “exceptional.”
More unfortunate is that the drought encompasses the heart of our nation’s “cattle country.” This leaves farm and ranch families, especially those who produce beef and dairy, to suffer exponentially. Not only is water essential for the upkeep of their animals, but it’s also necessary to grow the forages and grains to feed them.
Crops produced under drought conditions tend to lack or to be low in vital nutrients. This can lead to decreases in milk production, fertility, and growth which further impacts the bottom line of farming and ranching families. Purchase and transportation of adequate feeding materials is costly, and even when that is an option, only limited quantities are available.
Despite these setbacks, dairy and beef producers of the West are still working hard to bring high-quality meat and dairy to American families.
Just how dry has this year been? Right now, nearly 70% of the affected states are in “extreme” or “exceptional drought” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought-