Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just in from AFBF Washington

Weather Disasters Exact Heavy Toll on Farmers Across U.S.

Washington--From wet weather and floods to drought and wildfires, Mother Nature has put farmers behind schedule with spring planting. Floods that have been getting a lot of media attention are only a small part of the problem.

Some in the cattle industry in Texas are likely to quit the business due to forage problems, according to Bob Young, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s chief economist. “Producers are facing some real challenges…those cattle eat grass and if the grass isn’t there because it’s all dried up, they’ve either got to go out and buy additional grass someplace and ship it in or move the animals to feed,” Young said.

Droughts are classified by severity—D1, D2 and up to D4, which are those in Texas. “These are the worst droughts that we’ve had and we’re talking about 200-plus days without rain in some parts of the country,” explained Young.

Newsline audio story

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