Ranchers Reluctantly Auction Livestock Early

Andrew Keller


Most people aren`t thinking about winter yet, but cattle farmers in southwestern North Dakota definitely are. They are at work baling hay, or at least trying to.

"The hay isn`t worth putting up. Some of it hasn`t even greened up yet, it`s just plum dry," says David Panasak, a farmer in western North Dakota and eastern Montana.

Because of the dry conditions this year, many farmers are facing a dilemma:.pay a big price for hay or sell off cattle.

"In our area it`s dry, normally we wouldn`t be selling in July, we usually sell in August or September," Panasak says. "I believe a bunch of cows will be sold this fall because hay is going to be higher plus freight is going to be higher, and it isn`t going to be in our area because we just do not have the hay in the area to purchase."

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