Ranchers Hopeful For More Rain - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/21/06-Longview

Ranchers Hopeful For More Rain

It wasn't much, but yesterday's light rain was a welcome sight to East Texas ranchers. Their pastures have been drying up for months, but brief showers has given some ranchers reason for optimism. "If we get another good rain on it or two in another couple of weeks we'll have some green grass so that's a big hope," says Longview rancher Bob Griffin.

For many its been a tough go, the drought that started last year has taken their water and what they would have fed their cattle.  "Cattle drink a lot, probably 10 gallons a day per cow. Cattle are having to wade into their stomachs in mud to get to the water," Griffin says.

January ranchers prepare their soil by laying down lime or fertilizer for grazing fields, and wait for rain. Some, like Griffin, are piping water into their cattle and theirs a new concern:  January calves. The next generation needs to be fed. "This is a drastic situation that we're in and we do need all the help we can get," says Bartley.

But now small patches of green are appearing, and it may well give ranchers just enough to keep their herds healthy, and not sell them off. "Spring will be the wettest time of the year and it will be welcome" Griffin says.

Bob Hallmark reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com

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