Drought and Livestock
Fri May 2, 2014
What Texas Ranchers Can Teach California About the Drought
How bad is the California drought? Bad enough Texas cattle ranchers can offer some advice.
California has never seen so little rain over a 12-month period. But in Texas – the nation’s top cattle producing state – drought conditions are nothing new. Due to Texas' ongoing drought, ranchers in Texas lost 15 percent of their cattle from 2011 to 2013 – approximately two million animals.
At cattle auctions in Bastrop and Giddings, Texas, seasoned ranchers shared some advice with their California counterparts. Many suggested selling off older stock and keeping the younger cattle.
"If I was a California rancher I'd buy hay now and try to hang onto my cows, because they are going to be hard to replace," said Robert Wagner, who has been ranching for almost 45 years.
"Same thing happened down here in Texas," Wagner continues. "A couple years ago it was so dry and those who held onto their cattle are really seeing the results of it now."
Listen to more of the ranchers' advice in the audio player above.
Texas Tech Climatologist Katharine Hayhoe