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California Polytechnic State University
In Central Coast cattle region, drought continues to shrink the herds
In Central Coast cattle region, drought continues to shrink the herds

From the front porch of the ranch house where Daniel Sinton grew up, the toll of drought is all too plain to see. Grassland is turning into bare ground. Pine trees, some four stories tall, are dead or being eaten alive by fungal pathogens. And Sinton's cattle herd has shrunk to one-fifth its usual size. Canyon Ranch, started near San Luis Obispo by Sinton's great-grandfather 150 years ago, is withering from lack of rain, as are most other ranches in this once-thriving cattle region. Roughly 75% of the cattle in San Luis Obispo County have been sold or taken out of state over the last four years to escape conditions in the most drought-stricken region in California. ...

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