Valley farmers hit hard by dry spell

“We shouldn’t be able to drive where we’re going to drive,” Ray Mulas said Monday.

It was another sunny December day on his dairy farm off Highway 121 – sunny, crisp and dry, dry, dry.

The drive wasn’t far – maybe a hundred yards from the covered corral where Ray Mulas and his brother Mike keep their cows. Around this time of year, on a normal year, these depressed areas are muddy, if not outright flooded with rainwater, and new sprouts are shooting up amid the old ones.

That combination of new and old grass is an ideal blend for cows, and normally the Mulas brothers would be letting their livestock roam by now – “over hill and dale,” as Ray Mulas put it.

But not this year. Due to the drought, it’s only dry grass out there, or dry dirt with no grass at all – easy to drive a truck on, but no good for pastureland. So local dairy farmers are keeping their cows in the feedlot.

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