Okla. Hay To Help Ease Cattle Crisis

OKLAHOMA - This week's scattered showers have been a welcome sight in northern middle Tennessee, but the damage to area farms from the intense drought of 2007 is already done.
calendar icon 31 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

A group of Bobby Wall's cows try to find some shade under a tree. The dry conditions are causing the leaves to fall off early.

In a move that's hoped to help save Montgomery County's second-largest agricultural income source — beef cattle — from financial ruin as a result of the drought, 68th District state Rep. Curtis Johnson — himself a cattle farmer, has successfully negotiated to secure 5,000 rolls of hay from farms in Oklahoma.

The hay is expected to be sold at a minimal cost in the days ahead to drought-stricken livestock farms throughout the county.

Johnson, working in cooperation with county Agricultural Extension Agent John Bartee and County Mayor Carolyn Bowers, said the hay should at least help local livestock farmers get through the winter months, until local pastureland is hopefully rejuvenated for cattle grazing next spring.

"I looked at the national drought map to find states closest to us that aren't in a drought, and found that Oklahoma has an abundance of high-quality hay right now," Johnson said.

Working closely with Bartee, Johnson was referred to Extension agents and hay producers who came highly recommended in that state.

"After talking about it with John, we kind of came up with a figure for how much hay we felt like we would need countywide, that would at least get our farmers through the winter."

5,000 should do it

Johnson and Bartee agreed that 5,000 rolls should suffice. The rolls will be trucked here from McIntosh County, Okla., encased in net wrapping so they can be hauled and loaded easily.

Each roll will be 5 feet wide, 6 feet tall and weigh about 1,700 pounds.

Source: TheLeafChronicle

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