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From the Ground Up: Recent rain helps ranchers

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 7:37 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Rain isn’t always a good thing in agriculture. Last week, we told you how cotton farmers here have desperately needed hot weather to keep their crops dry right before harvest. While the recent rains may have hurt some farmers, many ranchers have been loving the damp start to fall.

Bobby Kurten’s family has been ranching in Brazos County for decades. Through floods, drought, and everything in between, they’ve weathered the ups and downs with their cattle.

“We’ve gotten rains here and there through the summer several times," Kurten said. "It worried us several times, but overall once you get rain, you sleep real good for the next couple nights. You get along alright.”

Kurten says this has been an “up” start to the season. Like any other aspect of life, COVID-19 has hurt the cattle industry. Thankfully, the damp start to the fall season will help when it comes time to sell.

“It’s still not right where it should be, but we’ve had pretty decent weather in this particular area,” Kurten said. “We can’t run an efficient cow/calf operation without grass. We are totally dependent on when we get rain and how much of it.”

Kurten notes how overly dry weather is obviously not optimal, but too much rain, too fast, can also create problems growing grass to feed cattle. At his ranch in northern Brazos County, Kurten has relied on timely, steady rains early this fall to allow for optimal grass growth, making happier cows, and more profit for the Brazos Valley rancher to keep them in business and feeding us at home.

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