Drought conditions affecting Cherokee County ranchers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Drought conditions affecting Cherokee County ranchers

Lindy Hinson, Free and Clear Ranch Owner Lindy Hinson, Free and Clear Ranch Owner
Brandie Hathorn, Alto Feed Supply Owner Brandie Hathorn, Alto Feed Supply Owner

CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE0 - Lindy Hinson has farmed in Cherokee County for the past 13 years.

"I'm an old man, and I've never seen a drought like this," said Free and Clear Ranch owner, Lindy Hinson.

He says this is the first year he's had to ween his calves early and sell them. And he's not the only one getting rid of his livestock.

"Tons of customers selling all their cattle. They have gotten rid of a lot of animals. People are turning horses and donkeys lose, you know, when they can't afford to feed them," said Alto Feed Supply owner, Brandie Hathorn.

The lack of rain is leaving ranchers with inadequate resources for farming this year.

"Even my neighbors, I mean, they're selling their cattle. We try to get past the feed prices because we don't have any hay. And the feed prices keep escalating," said Hinson.

Brandie Hathorn says the drought may be affecting the rise in feed costs.

"We've had this store almost 2 years, and our feed, almost every bag of feed that I sell, has gone up close to 2 dollars a bag."

She owns many horses of her own and says the drought is affecting her home and her business.

"Just owning my horses, I'm losing money everyday feeding them. And, as a feed store owner, if all of my customers sell out, then I'm not selling any feed," said Hathorn.

The drought is taking a toll on everyone in Cherokee County. Lakes are drying out, and there's no rainfall to replenish them. Without rain, Hinson says he doesn't know what's in store for him or his ranch.

"I think 13.75 inches of rain since January, and it doesn't look good in the future," said Hinson.

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