TANEYVILLE, Mo. – Dry conditions and droughts continue to plague the country, and they are causing shortages in animal feed.

Clarence Sims has worked at Mickey’s Feed and Farm Supply since 1980. He says the higher prices are affecting his business.

“January in the wintertime is generally when feed keeps getting higher and higher because they’re selling more,” said Sims, “Stock market is the same deal. It gets cheaper in the summer, but it started going up this summer because they foresee droughts and everything. Feed is a dollar to two dollars a bag higher than it should be for sure. It makes a big difference to me.”

In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing.

USDA is updating the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to immediately cover feed transportation costs for drought-impacted ranchers.

Sims says most of his business is selling feed to local cattle farmers.

“That makes a huge difference for me on cattle feed because if they can’t afford to make any money. They’re going to do the bare necessities,” said Sims.

To make matters even grimmer, farmers are worried about a possible hay shortage as fall gets closer.

“I’m hoping for rain,” said Sims. “We still got plenty of time to get some. I think it’ll be all right.”