Hay, Pasture In Wyoming Shrunk By Drought And Fire
The Wyoming Department of Agriculture met with producers, law makers and county officials across the state in a series of meetings on the current impact of drought and fire.
Doug Miyamoto, Agriculture Department deputy director says they wanted to get information out as quickly as possible about the situation and hear what producers need.
Miyamoto says all areas of the state are suffering. “We’ve seen about at least 50 percent loss of hay production through out the state of Wyoming- if you were to average it- and even more than that for dry land pasture and range condition.”
He says producers are calling for assistance in locating feed in what is a very tight market.
To ease the situation Miyamoto says they’re asking public land entities for flexibility with grazing leases.
He says fires compound the problem, consuming more grazing resource along with crop and infrastructure loss.
One unexpected issue is the impact of displaced wildlife. “They are experiencing wildlife in hay meadows that typically don’t have wildlife in them this time of year. So, there is not much hay being produced and what is being produced is being camped on by wildlife.”
He says they’ll be reaching out to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to find out if there is relief available in terms of damage payments to producers.