As drought cuts hay crop, cattle ranchers face culling herds


              Rancher Jim Stanko removes part of a fence, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, as he works on his ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Stanko says due to drought conditions this year, he may have to sell some of his herd if he can't harvest enough hay to feed them. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Jo Stanko, who along with her husband, Jim Stanko, are third-generation cattle ranchers, checks on some of their cattle as she drives on their ranch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Due to extreme drought conditions this year, Jim Stanko says he may have to sell some of their herd if he can't harvest enough hay to feed them. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Third-generation rancher Jim Stanko poses for a photo, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in front of his childhood home near Steamboat Springs, Colo., as he holds a picture of the home taken in 1937. The family now rents out the home for supplemental income to support their cattle ranch, which is being threatened by high feed prices and severe drought conditions that have affected hay harvest. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Three generations of ranch owners are shown in a family photo album, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at the Stanko Ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Peter Stanko Sr., top right, started the ranch in 1907 as a grain operation, then his son Peter Stanko Jr., bottom left, moved to dairy and beef cattle, and currently, Jim Stanko, bottom right, runs it as a cow-calf beef cattle operation. Jim Stanko says due to drought conditions this year, if his family can't harvest enough hay to feed their cattle, they may need to sell off some of their herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Rancher Jim Stanko cuts hay under a cloudy sky on his cattle ranch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Later in the day, rain fell for a few minutes, but it wasn't enough to alleviate the severe drought conditions that Stanko says may force him to sell some of his herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Jo Stanko, center, meets with her son Pat Stanko, right, and daughter-in-law Jan Stanko, left, to discuss their options for buying supplemental cattle feed, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at their ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Feed prices are high, and due to drought conditions this year, Jo's husband, Jim Stanko, says if the family can't harvest enough hay to feed their cattle, they may need to sell off some of their herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Fourth-generation cattle rancher Pat Stanko loads rounds of hay onto a trailer, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, on his ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Pat's father, Jim Stanko, said due to drought conditions this year, if the family can't harvest enough hay to feed their cattle, they may need to sell off some of their herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Cattle are sold at an auction at Loma Livestock, Monday, July 12, 2021, in Loma, Colo. Summer sales at the facility are bustling, even though the peak buying season isn't usually until fall, as some ranchers facing hay shortages and a severe drought are eager to unload cattle while prices are still strong. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              Cows stand near a salt lick on the Stanko Ranch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Jim Stanko says due to drought conditions this year, if he can't harvest enough hay to feed his cattle, he may need to sell off some of his herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              A pipe on the Stanko cattle ranch diverts water from the Woolery irrigation ditch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. With the Yampa River approaching record low levels due to severe drought, ranchers are only able to use a third of their normal water supply, and Jim Stanko says if he can't harvest enough hay to feed his cattle, he may need to sell off some of his herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)
            
              A sign hangs at an entrance to the Stanko Ranch, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Members of the third, fourth and fifth generations of the Stanko family currently work on the ranch, which includes about 90 head of cattle, but Jim Stanko says due to drought conditions this year, if he can't harvest enough hay to feed his cattle, he may need to sell off some of his herd. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)