28-03-2014 02:12 AM | United Kingdom

California drought delays cattle herd building

California’s recent rains brought only short-term relief to the state which is suffering its worst drought in a century, leaving cattle rancher Kevin Kester to stick to his strategy of salvaging as much of his operation as possible for his three children to have a future in the cattle business.

“We have a plan to hang on for another 60 days. If we don’t have any significant rainfall by the end of April then we’ll be forced to sell off everything we have,” said Kester, the 58-year-old owner of Bear Valley Ranch in Parkfield, California.

Last year Kester held off buying new steers and sold off 20 per cent of his 700 beef cows on the 20,000-acre spread that has been in the family for five generations.
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