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Program assisting drought-stricken ranchers

Some 600+ rolls of hay have been delivered to Butler County for cattlemen in need due to the extreme drought we have been facing. This program is being sponsored by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries; Alabama Department of Transportation; Alabama National Guard; Butler County Cattlemen's Association; Butler County ALFA Farmers Federation; Butler County Extension Office; Butler County Commission; Quality Cooperative in Greenville; Powell Ford Tractor; and the Hay Assistance Committee consisting of Jerry Middleton and Sam Parmer of the Butler County Cattlemen's Association; Will Crenshaw, ALFA Farmers Federation; Gary Hanks and Daniel Robinson, Butler County Commission, and Fred Bennett, Butler County farmer.

As of July 31 seven deliveries have been made to Butler County. These shipments have ranged from as few as 50 rolls to as many as 124 rolls of hay. Most of the hay has been donated by farmers in North Alabama.

Due to little or no rain in Butler County, many areas are as much as 20 inches below normal in rainfall for the year. The big question is what will cattlemen be able to do this fall and winter? Many will have to buy alternative feeds, drastically reduce their herds, or sell out altogether.

The Department of Agriculture still plans to have hay delivered to drought stricken areas of the state. If you are out of grazing and need hay to continue feeding your cattle, call the Butler County Extension Office at 334/382-5111. Be sure to give your name, address, phone number, and number of mature cattle, so that your application can be processed. If you have received hay and are still in need, a new application must be completed each time and every time before you receive hay. These applications help the Hay Assistance Committee prioritize needs according to your current number of cattle and feed supply.

We must emphasize that this program is for those who are out of grazing and hay and have no other alternative for feeding their cattle.