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California Ranchers Face Tough Year

Dry pastures and rangeland have put California ranchers in a tough position this year. The lack of rain means there's less grass for cattle to eat. That means ranchers have to move them to greener pas

Dry pastures and rangeland have put California ranchers in a tough position this year. The lack of rain means there's less grass for cattle to eat. That means ranchers have to move them to greener pastures, sell them earlier than planned for a cheaper price - or buy hay or other feed to fatten them up. Matt Byrne with the California Cattlemen's Association says that's expensive.

Byrne: The cost of hay for example is higher than just about anytime I can recall, and so what that means if you do choose to try to ride out the storm and purchase additional feed to try and supplement the naturally occurring grass, it means that you're paying top dollar for that.

Byrne says what makes this year unique are the dry conditions statewide, rather than just a few areas.

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows more than 80 percent of the state's pastures and rangeland is in poor or very poor condition.