Beef Producers Going Haywire
However, cattle at the Missouri State Fair have plenty of hay. When he shows cattle there, Clint Hunter said they eat before he does. They usually graze, but not this year.
"[With] the lack of rain and heat, we've had to feed our cows hay quite a bit earlier this year," he said.
With five cattle at the fair and 55 back home, Hunter has a lot of mouths to feed. And he's not alone.
"With the heat, and the long dry spells, our pastures are burning up," explained Brent Bryant of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association. "We're supplementally feeding cattle and, unfortunately, we don't have the hay to make it through the rest of the year in many cases."
Producers said buying hay for 2-3 days at the fair isn't a problem. The real challenge comes when cattle go home.
"We're thinking we're going to have to keep buying hay," Hunter admitted. "I was talking to my friends who I work with at auction and they've already had to sell cattle."
Gov. Blunt and the state cattlemen's association are talking with the federal government about possible help for producers.