Friday, October 2, 2009

Texas Drought Far from Fixed

The recent rains have been plenty welcome, but the damage from this year’s record-setting drought is far from fixed.

Not surprisingly, many Texans and neighboring partners have rolled up their sleeves to tackle the task of getting much-needed hay to fellow ranchers and producers.

In Refugio County, a coordinated effort between De-Go-La RC&D, Agri-Life Extension Service and Copano Bay Soil and Water Conservation District is bringing hay in from Oklahoma at the discounted rate of $49 per bale to bolster relief efforts. A similar initiative in Gonzales, Lavaca and Goliad counties finds hay being trucked in from Arkansas for $49 per bale. Another round of applause goes to those who have secured $33 bale shipments from Arkansas to Victoria County on the rails of Southern Pacific.

Like the recent rains, these partnerships are greatly appreciated and need to be sustained.

Here at TDA, we held a conference call last week with the Independent Cattlemen’s Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the Texas Farm Bureau and Agri-Life Extension Service to determine if a statewide hay coordination effort was needed at this time. The consensus was to support the local county efforts already underway as the most efficient and effective way to meet the needs of local ranchers. Their early successes are great examples of how local groups can move faster and more efficiently to help those in need.

Meanwhile, our TDA Hay Hotline stands ready to find sources of discounted transportation options to connect suppliers with Texas ranchers. To offer hay for sale, donate hay or help secure discounted transportation services, call the Hay Hotline at 1-877-429-1998 and help us help our Texas ranchers recover.

Do your neighbor a favor and email the Hay Hotline link or call in number to someone today.

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