SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's hot, it's dry, and with no sign of rain in the forecast, the conditions are putting Arkansas cattle ranchers in a tough spot.
Last year, a severe drought forced Texas cattle ranchers to buy their hay from Arkansas but this year, the tables have turned. With no grass for cattle to graze on, Arkansas cattlemen say they have no choice but to sell their herds.
One after the other, cattle fill up the Searcy auction barn Tuesday afternoon.
"Probably have 1,500 to 1,600 today and normally, this time of year, it should be 500 or 600 head," says Cattleman Donald McAdams who came to the sale looking to buy calves.
"I'm here every week. Have been for years," says McAdams.
With so many up for sale, he'll have plenty to choose from.
"People's running out of grass and they don't have water in some places. In some places, cows are eating leaves off the trees. There's nothing much you can do but sell them," says McAdams.
"Summer time is usually a slow time at a sale barn. It really is. This is real unusual," says John Hopper, a cattleman from Monticello.
With a ranch in south Arkansas, Hopper is no stranger to dry weather.
"South Arkansas, it's just a given. It's gonna get hot and dry and you just have to be ready for it," says Hopper.
But for cattlemen in the northern part of the state, feeding their herds hay in the middle of summer means their winter supply is dewindling fast.
"Searcy will probably have to buy all the hay they sold last year to Texas to have enough to feed what they got," says Hopper.
A swell in the market means a good deal for Hopper, but a bad profit for sellers.
"We'll probably buy anywhere from thirty to forty head of cows. Not very many. We'll turn them out on pasture and hold them until the price comes back up and then will bring them back and sell them again," says Hopper.
Auctioneers say due to the amount of cattle they have for sale, they sold cattle well into the evening on Tuesday and without any rain soon, they expect many more late auction days ahead.