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The hills are green, but the grass is going to seed

Beef prices averaged $5.58 per pound as of February, up from $5.18 a year earlier and $5.03 two years ago, according to the USDA..
Rainfall in February and March have left California foothills emerald green, but ranchers say the growth is too late to be of any use, reported John Holland in the Modesto Bee.

Ranchers rely on unirrigated rangeland to feed cattle through the winter. This year, a lack of rain required ranchers to bring in supplemental feed and cull their herds early.

Theresa Becchetti, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Stanislaus County, said much of the grass growth on rangeland has slowed and is going to seed, though there are some grass species still growing that “can take advantage of the rain we have had," Holland reported.

Becchetti and other experts are collecting vegetation samples in the region, which could be used in requests for federal disaster aid.

A UC research station in Yuba County offers a glimpse of what could be found around much of the state, the story said. As of March 1, dry matter in grasses averaged 400 pounds per acre, compared with a historical average of 685 pounds and a high of 1,590 in rainy 1997.


Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/04/06/3588265/green-hills-do-little-for-drought.html?sp=/99/215/#storylink=cpy
Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM
Tags: beef (7), rangeland (30), Theresa Becchetti (6)

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