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Aug 19, 2012 4:07 PM by Matt Stafford

Ranchers lose hope drought aid will come in time

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Ranchers stricken by drought are expressing frustration at Congress' failure to pass disaster aid legislation before taking a five-week break.

And some say by the time members return and pass a bill, it will be too late.

Ranchers have been hoping for an aid package that includes cash to buy feed until they would normally send their cattle to feedlots or slaughter in the fall or winter. Hay and other feed prices have skyrocketed in part because ranchers are buying more since there's no grass to graze.

Nebraska rancher Todd Eggerling says if Congress had acted two weeks ago, he could have hastily made arrangements to buy hay. But he says now it's almost impossible to find feed that doesn't have to be shipped long distances at outrageous prices.

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