Cattle ranchers cashing in and cutting losses

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - One of the driest times on the books in the Texas Panhandle has many area ranchers cashing in their cattle to cut their losses.

Much of the grass in the Panhandle is either dead or burned, leaving little for cattle to graze on.

Cattle are having to roam farther to find food, making them much thinner than usual for this time of year.

Some ranchers are doing everything they can to counteract the cattle's hunger by feeding them every bite they eat.

Rancher Ashley Noland says, "We've had to feed them numerous bales of hay, probably $1,000 a week worth of hay to our cattle. It's every day. We feed them twice a day. We're looking at spending about $4,000 to $5,000 a month just on feed."

For many, it's just too expensive to feed so many cattle. Ranchers are selling early instead, to minimize their herds and their food costs, in hopes of salvaging their expected earnings.

Since the cattle are so much thinner, they're not worth as much at the auction. However, ranchers tell us the high prices are helping to offset that.