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What recent rainfall means for area hay production

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Amarillo, Texas - Recent rain may seem like many farmers are off the hook for this growing season, but that might not be the case.

More than eight inches of rain has fallen in Amarillo so far this year. We spoke with area hay producers to find out what this rain has meant for their crops and what it means for prices.

"It's been horrible from Arizona to Canada to Georgia. Everybody has lost a cutting of hay," Larry Robinson, owner of Robinson's Family Feed Inc. says.

That's one fourth of Robinson's production he's already missed out on. Not only does Robinson sell his own hay, but also hay from other areas at his feed store. He says the prices aren't going down.

"The price of hay was up $5 a ton up there. I just bought some hay out of Arizona and they just went up $5 a ton. There's nothing to drive the price of hay down," Robinson says.

Recent rainfall has been an answered prayer in the panhandle. But, not everyone has received that rain.

"Even though we've had some timely rains, which are really nice. It's very spotty and we're no where near the moisture that we need in terms of production agriculture," Danny Nusser, Texas A&M AgriLife says.

Much of the hay used here is still being transported in from outside sources. With transportation costs and higher hay costs, that means you'll still be paying more for milk or beef.

"Any commodity that's driving up is going to hurt at the grocery store," Robinson says.

The panhandle still has a ways to go.

"The verdict is still out what kind of rain are we going to get, what type of crop are we going to grow this summer because we don't have any grass. That's what guys around here utilize to feed cows is grass and pasture. Until we get some rain we won't be able to recover those pastures," Nusser says.

Consistent wide-spread rainfall in the panhandle is what is needed to help bring farmers out of the drought.

 

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