Farmers Forced to Adapt to Abnormally Dry Conditions

By: Liz Palka Email
By: Liz Palka Email

July 15, 2010

The abnormally dry conditions have left farmer Channing Snoddy feeding his cattle hay when they should be eating grass this time of year.

"I've been feeding hay about two weeks, and I usually don't feed hay until about November or December," Snoddy said.

Snoddy is also president of the Fluvanna County Farm Bureau. He farms cattle and hay. Now, he's going through his crop that he would normally need to sell in the fall.

"I've had to pick up extra hay land just to try to get some more hay, and the quality of hay is not anywhere near as good," he said.

The Virginia Farm Bureau said farmers across the state are selling their livestock because there's a lack of green pastures, hay and water. The bureau also reports the state's corn crop is badly damaged because of the dry conditions. Snoddy is seeing the same thing locally.

"The market was just flooded with cattle when it shouldn't be at this time of year," Snoddy said. "Nobody usually sells anything this time of year, hardly."

Snoddy said the last few days of rain have made a difference.

"Everything has gotten greener, but nothing is growing," he said.

His next option, he said, is to pray for rain.

Snoddy said the only other thing he can do is look for other places for his cattle to graze.

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