Sand, debris covers acres of pasture in Ravenna after flood
It's been two months since the floods, and farmers and ranchers are now dealing with forage and flood-damaged pastures.
A pasture that was once green and luscious now looks like a beach with sand and debris strewn across many acres of the land.
"Well with the lack of pasture we obviously have to sell cattle because we have no place for them,"said a Ravenna farmer and rancher Sandy McAuliff.
Along with other farmers and ranchers across the state, the McAuliff's lost a lot of land they used to graze cattle.
"We have a lot of sand and a lot of debris. There's a lot of fence gone probably in this pasture probably a mile and a quarter fence is gone. Then also we had a cross fence and five different paddocks and the biggest end of that is the high intensive steel. That's pretty much all gone," said a Ravenna farmer and rancher Marvin McAuliff.
At a workshop hosted by Town and Country Bank and Nebraska Extension, a range and forage specialist taught farmers and ranchers how to deal with the sand deposit on their pastures and how to reestablish forage.
"In some places the sand is relatively thin and we are able to see some grasses make their way through and get some growth this spring. In a lot of areas and quite a few acres the depth and thickness of the sand is just too much for any of the grasses underneath," said a Nebraska Extension range and forage specialist Jerry Volesky.
If left untouched, Volesky said some areas would take decades to grow back which is why he said it's important to get something to grow yourself.
"Planting on some annual forages like a millet or sedan grass, sorghum sedan grass, hybrids. We are talking directly where the sand is so thick or so deep where we would not get any of the perennial grasses underneath to grow. If we can get something growing on there, it's going to be a potential forage source for the cattle but then also it will help build up that soil," said Volesky.
Nebraska Extension encourages farmers and ranchers to use the resources they have on Flood.UNL.edu to answer any questions they may have.