PASSAIC, Mo. - When Jim Hertzog looks out at his cow pasture, he sees a brown field and no cows. The cows and calves are all under a roof, a tree or cooling off in a pond.
It's the first time this cattle farmer has no cattle grazing in his pastures during the summer. The drought has killed off anything they could possibly munch on, which means Hertzog has to sustain them in other ways.
Luckily, he has his own hay and was able to secure a good a price on ground corn silage from a drought-stricken corn farmer looking to unload his devastated crop.
But it also means Hertzog has to buy feed for his herd -- a lot more feed than he was expecting to buy. Since the feed is made with corn products, the price is skyrocketing thanks to a drought-induced shortage.
Hertzog said it has spiked by an average of 30 percent in just a few weeks.
Alhough his cattle are getting more expensive to maintain, Hertzog wants to keep them around as long as possible.
Too many other cattle farmers around the nation are unloading their herds on the market, driving prices down. Hertzog wants to hold out as long as he can so he can get a better price later -- when the market isn't flooded.
He said other cattle farmers are facing the same predicament, but not everyone can hold out.
"You think, 'I could have to feed hay for nine months, and is that feasible?'" he explained.
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