Jan 24, 2010 7:21 PM by Monica Quintero
It's a struggle for many local ranchers these days. So did the wet weather we've been experiencing help or hurt them? One local rancher we talked with said we've seen dry conditions the past few years and this wet weather does make a difference.
Paul McEnroe is with Rancho La Purisima. It's located in Buellton and has more than 100 cows. He said, "I am so happy!"
According to McEnroe, it's a simple equation. The rain equals happy cows and happy cows equals profits. While the rancher said the rain has been a welcome relief, he added more is still needed. "One rain doesn't solve the problem," said McEnroe.
Either way, Mcenroe said it makes a good start for 2010. He said, "A few years ago it was really a bad drought and I had to sell about a third or so of my cows." For example, he said selling 30 to 40 cows means losing between 6 and 10 thousand dollars. Then, you have to start building your herd once again which also means even more money. McEnroe said, "It disrupts your options for a long time to come, it's expensive. Ranching is not a real profitable endeavor but it's something that most of us that are in it love and it's a lifestyle.
As for the future, McEnroe is optimistic.
He said, "I'd like to see some nice warm sun for a few days and then some more rain." More rain in hopes of more profits. If the wet weather keeps coming done there's a chance it could end up being a banner year for ranchers. To give you a perspective on the rain in that area, McEnroe said on average he usually sees about 14 inches. So far, this year he's seen 8 inches which is great news.
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