Cattle farmers struggling in drought - - Jackson, MS

Cattle farmers struggling in drought

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Brush fires aren't the only thing we have to worry about with this drought. The dry heat can also have a huge impact on cattle farmers.

One of the biggest ways the drought is affecting farmers is on their ability to grow grass to feed their cattle.

One farmer says he should have planted winter rye grass a full month ago.

"As of right now, I haven't even invested in planting seed, because I don't have the moisture there," said Shelby Beason, owner of Beason Family Farm.

Beason says in droughts like the one we're having right now, his cows' milk production can go down by almost 25%.

But there are different methods of feeding, so not every farmer in the state is feeling the effects of the drought.

"We don't rely on grazing," said Myran Powers, a herdsman with Heritage Dairy. "They stay in the barns all day long. So the drought hasn't affected us too bad at our operation."

Buying feed may be a little more expensive, but Heritage Dairy thinks it's worth it.

"Corn silage, brewers grain, cotton seed meal, cotton seed, alfalfa hay; we mix it all together and we just feel like they produce more milk with that kind of a ration instead of grazing," Powers added.

Not everyone agrees with that method, however, and they stick to the standard feed.

"You can't buy in a sack what green lush rye grass will do, as far as production-wise," Beason countered.

For those that are suffering in the drought, Heritage Dairy says production should pick back up with the first drop of rain. Unfortunately, those droplets aren't expected any time in the next week.

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