Isaac brings rain to Missouri cattle ranchers

Ken Lenox enjoys the rain that Tropical Storm Isaac dumped in Missouri, August 31, 2012.

Today is a happier day than yesterday for folks in the lower Midwest, especially farmers and ranchers.  

This year's drought has devasted crops and worried livestock owners. But today the weather has changed for the better, thanks to a good dumping of rain from what's left of Hurricane Isaac.

Ken Lenox is a fifth generation cattle rancher in Rolla, Mo. We've chatted with him a few times this summer. Lenox's cattle graze on native Missouri grasses, but with no rain the grass has all but dried up. 

Lenox says the drought has forced him to buy hay to feed his cattle. "We've started feeding hay, which I've never done in August or September before. Normally I can stockpile some grass, not letting the cattle feed on a particular pasture for several months. That carries me through, into the New Year, usually. " 

The forecast calls for the rain to continue in Rolla through the weekend. Lenox says he really needs to see more rain again in a few weeks. But he admits he feels better than he did earlier this summer.

"The rain always makes you feel better. I actually got wet this morning. It was raining enough, and I did not start out with a raincoat. So I just enjoyed getting damp."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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