Farmers in northeast Iowa donated tons of hay last fall to help out drought-stricken Texas, and now they’re facing dry conditions of their own. Pastor Harold McMillian of the St. John Lutheran Church in Luana organized the haylift, and says he even got to go to Texas for a visit those who got the hay from Iowa.
“I heard story after story of how thankful the people were and how it saved them, and some of the herds, to be able to keep their business together and just to stay in farming. Because there’s a lot of them that are at the age and health where they would have been able to rebuild their herds if they had to sell them all out,” McMillian explains.
While northeast Iowa is seeing drought conditions, McMillian says there isn’t yet a need to call for help. “We’re probably down some of the hay needs, but I think there’s enough around that it’s probably going to see them through pretty well. The first two cuttings were real good, the third was a little bit skimpy,” he says, “but I think with the hay that they have purchased around and maybe some of the corn, it’s going to help them out.”
McMillian describes the conditions as “pretty severe” and says he’s surprised the crop is doing as well as it is. He says the biggest worry is over the corn crop, not hay.
McMillian hopes the farmers have enough crop insurance to cover loses, and expects many will have to eventually sell off some of their cattle. While he hasn’t had a lot of calls about a lack of hay, he says there’s no shortage of prayer requests for rain.