Lack of Nevada hay has far-reaching consequences for ranchers.
March 17, 2014
As the drought dries up the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, it’s not just California that’s affected by the lack of water. Northern Nevada won’t be able to produce as much of its high-quality hay, forcing ranchers to either truck in expensive feed or reduce the size of their herds.
UC Davis rangeland watershed specialist Ken Tate has been working with cattle ranchers in California to help them improve irrigation efficiency and manage their vegetation differently, but acknowledges that there are limits to what can be done.
“There are not scientific answers to some of these problems,” he said in a recent interview with National Public Radio. “Sometimes there’s no solution for not enough rain.”
Tate says ranchers could be forced to downsize their herds this spring.
To learn more about Ken Tate’s work with ranchers, visit the Rangeland Watershed Lab.
(Read or listen to an audio version of the full story by Kirk Siegler with National Public Radio.)