2011 Drought: Impact On Grass Could Last - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

2011 Drought: Impact On Grass Could Last

The impact of the 2011 Drought may last for years to come on Texoma grazing grasslands. Cattle are eating away the plants, down to the roots. It is running the risk of destroying the turf.

The situation is very bad for ranchers. "We're at the point now where were starting to hurt the turf on our grass... Grass gets short in a drought heat, but the grass basically stays there in a dormant state, but as cattle graze on that grass, they begin to pull on it and they uproot a lot of it," explained Livestock Dealer Warren Reid.

Reid said the turf is the very essence of the land. Grass spreads by releasing seeds into the wind. "Grass catches those seeds and then it rains and those seeds germinate and grass sprouts, but it has to have something to hold onto it," said Reid.

Next year's cattle could take a big hit. "Ranchers don't like to talk about it but we are actually farmers and our crop is grass and we harvest our crop through cattle," said Reid.

He worries about what it could mean in the years to come. "When you're talking about long term effects on the grass, you're talking about long term effects on the cattle industry... Its kind of like a pebble thrown in a pond... There's a lot of rippling effects," he said.

Reid said it could take several years for grass to re-grow if the soil is exposed.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6

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