Three years ago, Boulder County rancher Bill Berg was yielding about 1,000 bales of hay from his fields.
It was plenty for him to feed his small, but growing, herd of cattle and plenty for him to sell for $4 to $4.50 a bale. Last year, Berg was lucky to pull 450 bales from his land -- 9 acres of which had turned into a "dust bowl."
Not having enough to feed his 12 head of cattle for his Ridge Ranch Cattle Co. grass-fed beef business, Berg shelled out anywhere from $10.50 to $14 a bale to buy more. That was if he could find the hay.
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