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Farmers Say Drought Is Worst They've Seen

Milburn Tarter has weathered a lot of storms in his life. The great depression, the big tornado outbreak of 1972.

But the Pulaski County Angus beef producer of nearly a half century has never seen anything like the droughts of '07 and '08.

“It’s real bad. It's the worst I've ever seen it,” said Tarter.

Case in point...normally cattle would have plenty of pasture grass to eat until winter. Now they're munching on hay, that's usually reserved for the winter months.

“It means it's going to be a long winter.Could be hard pressed to find hay,” said Neal Branscum of Ard Ridge Cattle Company near Nancy.

Branscum says the drought has many making tough choices.

“I think the impact of back to back drought years has forced a lot of commercial producers and farmers out of the business,” says Branscum.

A lot of farmers are now going on nearly a month without significant rainfall. There's been only one cutting of hay, not enough to get cattle through the winter.

And with the economy in a serious tailspin, some don't know what they're going to do.

“Increasing fuel costs, fertilizer, and feed costs, It's changing the way agriculture is,” said Branscum.

Tarter says he's not going to change.

He's survived tough times before.

“I’d do it all again, yeah.”


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