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California drought having negative impact on sheep and hay

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Friday, February 7, 2014, 1:56 PM -

Thursday's rain was a welcome sight, but California is still far from being out of any drought

And now sheep herders are feeling the effects -- or at least they will be next year. 

"Nothing on the grazing land outside," said veteran sheep herder Martin Etchamendy pointing to his dry farmland "Its just like what's around me right now..a parking lot." 

Lack of water is slowly turning the natural pastures his sheep once fed on into dirt, jeopardizing his ewes for next year. 


PLAN YOUR FARMING ACTIVITIES: Check your farm forecast here!


"If we don't have adequate feed..the reproduction system could be hurt for the following year," said Etchamendy. 

Hay distributor Kenny Devin says in just the past couple of weeks, the price of hay has gone from $200 to well over $250. 

"There's a shortage...so the demand goes up...the price is gonna go up the farmers can almost just name their price," said Devin. 

Demand for hay will continue to raise prices, turning many ranchers like Etchamendy away. He hopes the recent rainfall is just the beginning of an even wetter tomorrow. 

"All of us are very happy..that's a sheep herders weather."

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