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East Texas farmers enjoy better grazing

HUDSON, Texas (KTRE) – Drought conditions last summer and fall resulted in overgrazed pastures all over the Lone Star State.

“We’re trying to move into every year as if it is a drought year,” said co-owner of Heleyon Sheep and Cattle Company, David Womack.

The farm raises grass-fed sheep, cattle and lambs for direct consumer meat sales.

Womack said they weren’t prepared for last year’s drought and are still trying to recover. He described “having to deal with the drought, having to sell some of the livestock off, move them around, trying to find other pastures while everyone else was trying to find pastures.”

Texas Farm Bureau Spokesperson Gary Joiner said farmers have to spend more money for supplemental feed to manage their livestock.

“It’s an additional expense of bringing in feed that normally they might anticipate having in their own pasture or range,” said Joiner.

Womack said the road to recovery for their grazing pasture is intensive, to be able to provide benefits for the grass and animals.

Womack said one technique they have been working on is by sectioning off the grazing areas. “One of them is 40 acres, and we’ll split that down into 5 acres of paddocks, maybe even 1-acre paddocks. Stay on it for a day, and then we’ll just move the cattle on the other side of the single-poly wire.”

Joiner said much of the state is still in prolonged drought but East Texas has the most moisture compared to other areas. “The importance of grass and improved range land conditions cannot be overstated. It really is the start and the foundation of a successful cycle for those animals.”

Source: ktre