Herndon estimates losing more than $35,000 in hay and alfalfa sales. He has eight horses on his farm and is able to feed them his own farm’s hay for right now but said he will need to see what happens over the winter.
Phil McGukin, president of McGukin Construction Inc., has a farm in Carroll County and another in Heard County. He said he sold 15 of his 20 cows, partially due to the drought. Also, his creeks and ponds dried up so he had to purchase a water trough to give his cattle. McGukin said that his creeks have dried up before but never his pond.
Farmer Phil McGuken drives his truck through his pasture. McGukin had to sell a few cattle this year, and that is in part due to the level 2 drought in Georgia.
McGukin looks out toward his pond. His pond has been receding this year due to the drought.
Phil McGukin points out that sections of his pasture are brown showing only ground.
McGukin has Bermuda and fescue grass but believes only the Bermuda has a chance of surviving for next spring. McGukin said several farmers are purchasing hay in south Georgia and the costs for a roll of hay is around $40, and then around another $40 to have it trucked back. The biggest problem with the drought, McGukin believes, is buying more feed and hay.
Cattle and poultry farmer Randall Crumbley of Bowdon sold a few cows and anticipates to sell more, including the less productive cows. Crumbley said the drought has also hurt his hay-selling business.
“I sold hay too early, anticipating one more cut that we did not have,” he said.
Crumbley prepares his hay for his cattle Saturday morning.
Randall Crumbley feeds his cattle Saturday morning. Crumbley did have left over hay to feed his cows.
Crumbley said he usually sells around 300 rolls of hay this time of year but sold only 100 and used 200 on his cattle. His creeks also dried up, so like many other farmers he will need to use county or city water for cattle.
Crumbley currently has 75 cows but anticipates selling a few more before winter is over.
“Part of farming is a challenge you have to take the good with the bad.” Crumbley said.