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2009-07-16 digital edition

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2009-07-16 / Front Page

A Sign of the Times as the Drought Goes On

The long lines of trucks and trailers,loaded with cows, headed for the Lexington Auction Barn on Saturdays are becoming a familar sight.

The dead grass on the side of the street in the picture, that has gone to sand, is a constant reminder of the drought.

The drought Central Texas has had for the last year has not only destroyed the forage, but also driven the price of round bales of hay to $65 - $75, leaving the ranchers with huge feed bills. The drought also has some veteraran ranchers saying they wish they had sold every cow they had three years ago.

Charles Heller, owner of Lexington Livestock Commission said, "We have been having around 2,000 head run through here for the last three weeks. The average for July would generally be about 1200. Of 590 cows sold this week, about 85% went to packers. Normally it would about 150 to 175 cows. The calves are either going to feed lots or to grass. Just 70 miles north/ east of here those folks have green pastures. Prices are holding, could be better, but could be a lot worse."

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