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Lack of rain hurts crops, livestock

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- The lack of rain has all but destroyed the crops for some local farmers -- and it's taking a toll on their livestock as well. Because of all the dry weather cattle farmers in the region are having trouble producing enough hay to feed their herds. They say if they can't solve this problem soon, they may loose their herds altogether. Brunswick County farmer Chip Carroll says his cattle eat anywhere from 800-900 pounds of hay each year. But with this year's drought he's only been able to produce about half that. He says he's not the only one with this problem and if he and his colleagues don't find an alternative way to make hay, he may need to part with his herd. Carroll said, "There's a lot of cattle in North Carolina that have been sold. But we've put up a lot of feed and we're going to try and hold on to ours, but it's a scary situation." Carroll says since the drought has affected most of the region, farmers in North Carolina will have to look import feed from further away, which means increased shipping costs. Friday, August 30 farmers will be meeting in Whiteville to discuss alternative ways to feed their cattle that are more affordable. That meeting runs from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Border Belt Research Station.

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