Dry weather is tough on California cattle industry
By JIM DOWNING
From Interstate 505, it’s hard to tell that the grass in the hills west of Winters, Calif., is any less plentiful than it was last August.
But drive up Salt Creek on the Clarence Scott Ranch, where 18 of Rick Harrison’s cows huddled in the shade of an oak tree, and the pastures are close-clipped, the springs dry.
Harrison stopped his flatbed pickup in a spring-fed gully that often runs with water through the summer. This year, the creekbed clay crunches under his tires.
“It wouldn’t bother me if it started raining in October and didn’t quit till May,” he said.