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Limestone County cattle farmers taking hard hit from severe drought conditions

One cattle farmer tells WAAY 31 the drought is impacting the health of his cattle and his own finances.

Posted: Oct 4, 2019 6:37 PM
Updated: Oct 4, 2019 6:48 PM

Cattle farmers are taking a hard hit from the drought, which is drying up the hay and water supply.

One rancher tells WAAY 31 how it's impacting his cattle's health, and his wallet.

"The drought is so widespread in the southeast, there's probably not gonna be extra hay anywhere close," Nick Lovell said.

Lovell owns several cattle farms and is a beef producer in Limestone County. Right now, the severe drought is hurting his cattle and his bottom line.

"We'll have to supplement the nutrients, because we don't want our cows getting behind on body condition, so we will still produce the quality product. It's just gonna cost us more," Lovell said.

The drought dries up the grass, which is a main source of nutrients for cattle. Farmers are forced to feed them hay, and they usually don't feed them hay until the first week of December, which throws off their diets.

Each extra roll of hay Lovell provides for his cattle is an extra $50. He is worried he won't have enough to last him through the winter.

"We're starting to feed hay now, which is about two months early than what we normally do... So, now, we're concerned if we can make it through the winter with enough hay," he said.

Lovell also tells us his cattle have no source of natural water, since streams are dried up. Providing water himself, adds to his expenses.

Lovell says he worries for farmers in North Alabama where conditions are even worse, in the extreme category.

"We say an extra prayer for neighbors over Jackson County and other parts of the southeast that are going through the drought," he said.

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