A record drought year for Wyoming - KOTA Territory News

A record drought year for Wyoming

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KOTA Territory farmers and ranchers already knew this year's drought was one of the worst ever.  Now scientists are saying it was the worst they've seen in over a century.

The newest U.S. Drought Monitor report claims 2012 is on track to be Wyoming's driest in 118 years.

Agriculture officials say the drought caused ranchers to overpay for resources and undersell their cattle.

"The producers were forced to either liquidate their cattle or go buy expensive hay.  And they sold their calves probably about three weeks early because there was just no grass for grazing this year," said Sheridan-Johnson County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Linda Benzel.

Benzel also says November's high precipitation levels were too little, too late for this year.  But she hopes the winter and spring will bring higher snow pack and rainfall to help offset the drought's long term effects.

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