Heat scorches the hay crop - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Heat scorches the hay crop

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NEAR PETERSON, Minn. (KTTC) -- Talk about turning the heat up on nature's thermostat. As the hot temperatures continue to torch much of the region, some farmers and ranchers could lose money this fall.

This cow pasture, near Peterson, is baking under the sun and scorching heat.

"It hasn't rained yet," explained Farmer, Marty Malin.

"You lay awake at night waiting for the rain drops to fall on the roof and it doesn't come, it's nerve wrecking," stated Julie Malin.

The soft sound of a pitter patter on the roof is all they ask for, a drink for their once grassy pastures.

"We had rains in April, May and early June, but then June 20th was our last measurable rain, we had 8-tenths," said Julie.

Their browning, crisp grass is proof of what they fear, a drought. A hardship that could devastate their livelihood, their 100 head of cattle.

"If we start feeding hay now will we have enough feed to make it through the winter, so it's our livelihood. It's not just the yard is brown and my hanging baskets don't look good, it's about how we make our living," stated Julie Malin.

If they don't have enough hay Malin's said they may have to purchase some. Given the fact that the hay crop is so poor this year, they fear it will go for a high price. If need be, to make ends meet, they may sell some cows.

"We will probably have to sell a few, not too many, at least I hope," said Marty.

"I think we would probably call the herd as much as we could afford, but again that's our income for next year, the next year after that and the next year after that," stated Julie.

But the Malin's are hoping it doesn't come to that, as they pray for rain. Malin's said the last time they remember a summer this dry was 24 years ago, the summer of 1988. It's not just the farmers who will suffer financially from the drought, but the rising costs will eventually be passed on to consumers.

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