Alabama cattle farmers feeling pinch from drought

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — Alabama cattle farmers are feeling the pinch from the worsening drought.

Limestone County farmer Donna Jo Curtis tells the Athens News-Courier she already has started feeding hay to her livestock because fields are so dry. Farm ponds also are drying up, making water a concern as excessive heat stresses the animals.

To help with the crunch, state agriculture officials have announced a plan to issue special free permits for trucks hauling hay. Forecasters are predicting cooler temperatures and increasing chances of rain that could help even more.

The entire state is at least abnormally dry, and some areas are in an extreme drought.

The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association describes cattle production as a $2.5 billion industry in the state. Producers sold about $500 million worth of cattle and calves last year.

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