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"That's not to say we don't watch that very carefully because it's been very, very dry," he said.
Across cattle country, people often refer to bovine respiratory disease (BRD) as "shipping fever," and with good reason.
HONOLULU (AP) — Extremely dry conditions in parts of Hawaii are forcing some ranchers to reduce their herds as they struggle to grow grass to feed cattle.
Thirsty invasive axis deer are encroaching on crops as they seek water.
Maui County continues to call for a voluntary reduction in water usage in some areas, the weather service said. Nearly 9 percent — mainly leeward parts of the Big Island, Maui and Molokai — are suffering from extreme drought.
Most of Hawaii's largest ranch, Parker Ranch, sits in the red spot that the drought monitor marks to show extreme drought. Ranchers have had to move cattle from the very dry areas on the slopes of Mauna Kea to the wetter, Waimea side of the ranch, said Keoki Wood, livestock operations manager.
"The bottom of the ranch, toward the ocean, it's total desert," White said. Each year, it just gets worse and worse."Even the Garden Island of Kauai, which is under moderate drought in the lower elevations of the east and southeast parts of the island, is seeing pastures degraded to the point that ranchers are also having to reduce herd sizes, the weather service said.
The drought is a big topic for the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Wood said.
Ponoholo Ranch, which is on the slopes of Kohala Volcano on the Big Island, has had to reduce its herd of mother cows by about one-quarter to 3,200 as it endured nine years of below-normal rainfall, von Holt said.
A little more than half of Hawaii is in a drought, according to the U. Drought Monitor, a facet of the islands' varied weather that has been posing problems for local ranchers for years.
While large swaths of the mainland United States are in the midst of the worst drought in decades, the far-away Hawaiian islands in the middle of the Pacific are familiar with occasional drought.
HONOLULU (AP) — Weeks of slow, soaking rains are helping the grass grow again on the western slopes of Maui and Hawaii islands, giving cattle ranchers hope they may at last escape a punishing drought brought on by years of below-normal rainfall."We're pretty happy with what's happened the last couple months," said Pono von Holt, president of Ponoholo Ranch.
"If it can sustain itself over here for the next few more months, I think we'll start working out of a situation that we've been in for a long time." FILE - In this Aug.
Before the drought, the ranch had about 4,700 to 5,000 mother cows.