Thousands of farmers are counting their losses amid record heat and drought this year.


The drought has spread over much of the southern U.S., leaving Oklahoma the driest it has been since the 1930s and setting records from Louisiana to New Mexico. But the situation is especially severe in Kansas and Texas, and both states trail California in agricultural productivity.


Ranchers in parts of Kansas are hauling their spring calves to auction barns because drought and brutal heat have made it difficult to provide the water and hay needed to keep the animals healthy.


Some auction markets are seeing more than triple the number of cattle at weekly sales than they typically have at this time of year, according to the Kansas Agricultural Statistical Service.


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