TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- In north Lee County, it's hay-cutting time as one farmer is preparing to feed his cattle not only right now, but the rest of the year as well.
That farmer is Ray Gibson, whose family has farmed this land for some five generations.
He said so far the hay crop is holding up well, although it could be a little better.
"Hay is just a little bit short. Normally we probably have about half of a crop put up. This year, we've got about a third of a crop. Its got a good seed-head on it, but it's not much leaf. It's not turning out as much," Gibson said.
Gibson said plenty of water early in the year has helped produce the crop you see now and warmer temperatures earlier this year have helped, too.
At least for now, there's no search for hay to feed area cattle as there was a couple of years ago, when farmers said the situation was critical.
He said things look pretty good now.
You might ask why hay crop is important to you as a consumer.
Without the cattle, the supply of hamburgers and steak goes down, meaning prices go up.
"Hay is what your cattle eat [during] winter. There's nothing there for them to eat unless you put it out there for them and hay is the cheapest thing you can feed them since corn prices went so high. We do supplement hay with some corn," Gibson said. "Hay is pretty much going to get your cows and your calves through the wintertime until grass puts up for the next year for them to graze."
And the quality of the hay makes a difference too, he says.
A better quality hay makes for a better quality animal.
Don't forget about milk; it's another product we get from cattle.
All the more reason he says why more rain right now wouldn't be a bad thing, to grow more hay.
Gibson said he raises about 125 cows and several more calves. He says his goal is to get at least two more fields of hay cut before the winter.