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Cattle from the Barthel ranch enjoy a beautiful February day Tuesday near Perham. Mitch Barthel is one of the area ranchers coping with the effects of drought on overhead costs. Submitted photo

Cattle numbers down in Wadena area

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Last summer's drought made headlines around the state. What people may not realize, however, is that as farms struggle to deal with lack of water, cattle ranches have been drying up right alongside them.

Industry insiders say that because the Wadena area has poorer soil compared to other areas, a large portion of Minnesotan cattle ranching takes place in our area. When drought comes, ranchers in places like Verndale, Staples and Bluffton feel it.

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