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California Drought Has Ranchers Selling Cattle

January 27, 2014

By Jason Dearen, The Associated Press

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AROMAS, Calif. - With drought affecting grazing land for cattle, California ranchers are selling off parts of their herds as normally green pastures have turned brown.

With feed costs high, business at the 101 Livestock Market`s cattle auction on California`s Central Coast is bustling, with ranchers looking to sell off parts of their herds to save money on feed costs.

Auction house co-owner Monty Avery says the market usually sees 100-150 animals per week, but this year they are selling 800-1,000 each week.

Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed a drought in California, a move that codified what farmers and ranchers in the state had known for weeks. The U.S. Drought Monitor says "extreme drought" exists in central and northern California, where much of the state`s ranching is located.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Story Image: In this Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014 photo, Jim Warren, owner of 101 Livestock Market, conducts a cattle auction in Aromas, Calif. (Marco Jose Sanchez, AP)

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