Central Missouri Hay Shortage
Area farmers still have a lot to do before they can even think about the next long winter ahead of them. On an average November day in Central Missouri, farmers usually don't have to work very hard. But this year, farm hand Joe Frank has to work.
"It's just more time. Instead of getting caught up with stuff you put off in the summer, we're back with the cows," Frank said.
The cows have to be fed by hand every day instead of letting them just graze on grass and hay. According to Joe Frank's father Bill, last year's harsh weather hit Central Missouri farms hard.
"And then the freeze hit us and just knocked our hay production way down this spring," Farmer Bill Frank said.
Following the harsh winter, the summer drought then dried up his ponds and grass. The Franks decided to plant wheat to give the cows something to graze on since the grass was not growing, but when the rain didn't come neither did the wheat.
Despite attempts to increase the hay supply, the Franks know this will be their hardest winter yet. Bill Frank says the summer drought affects Central Missouri the worst and that he's grateful the hay shortage is local, not statewide.