It is one of the driest winters on record and ranchers are feeling the impact.
Rancher Henry Giacomini says even though it's a challenge, he's prepared and is considering even selling off his cattle if he can't afford to feed them.
“We’ve accepted the life and conditions that are apt to come our way so it doesn't help to get gloomy about it,” says Giacomini.
With 25 years of experience under his belt, Giacomini knows that drought is all part of this business. But this one is recording breaking.
“Overall we are into the fifth year and its cumulative it starts adding up, this is certainly the most severe period,” says Giacomini.
So severe that Shasta County has seen a 70 percent reduction in green grass and ranchers are taking a big hit.
“We are buying feed, we are under stocked on our winter pastures, trying to just hold it together,” says Giacomini, “you know the whole state is running out of hay and other feed continue to go up and our choices get fewer and fewer really.”
If rain doesn't come in the next couple of weeks, Giacomini says he will have to look at other options including selling off some of his cattle or maybe even relocating them, all are unfavorable alternatives.
“One way or the other we have to run less cattle to match the growth on the pastures or the rain land,” says Giacomini.
By reducing the amount of mouths to feed, Giacomini says he can maintain the quality of The Hat Creek Grown product for his customers, organic grass finished beef.
“Really felt in your heart this is really going good and then we have this great potential to look forward to, so it might just slow us down,” says Giacomini.
Rain or drought, Giacomini will find a way to make it work.
“We intend to survive it and be here to go on,” says Giacomini.
Giacomini plans to prioritize his local customers if he needs to cut back on production. For mor information on his beef product: http://www.hatcreekgrown.com/