The water crisis in
Although this is the third year that
The lack of water is having a direct impact on the dairy industry. Feed availability could be in very short supply to nonexistent by this fall, says Tom Barcellos, a dairy producer from
Barcellos says that farmers who grow corn and sell it to dairy producers are already leery because the prices for corn are 50 to 60 percent of last year's. Add on top of that the increasing expense for water if it is available to them. “Do you take the risk and plant a corn crop with hopes that commodity prices improve, hoping you cover your costs, or do you plant something else, or leave your land fallow?” In some cases, Barcellos says farmers may plant
One thing is for sure: Barcellos says farmers who are harvesting wheat for grain are not going to double-crop back with corn.
And, Barcellos says, if there is no feed out there to buy, there is no amount of money that is going to buy feed that doesn’t exist.
Barcellos says he is fortunate, since he supplies his own needs and sells 50 percent of what he grows. But, others who don’t have their own indigenous, home-grown feed supply are going to be in a bad situation.
The $64,000 question is, what do you do when there is no feed to buy? asks Barcellos.
To read an item by National Public Radio on the water situation in