Cash Ruane grew up on the land in North Clarenden, and in 20 years since he's owned his own dairy farm.
"This is the worst i've ever seen," Ruane said. "Real bad."
The massive drought in the midwest has stifled the crop supply nationwide and that's draining Ruane's savings.
He's pouring 400 dollars a day into feed for 64 cows. That's an unexpected jump of 100 dollars more a day from last year.
"We're at a negative," he said. "And we're working off the equity of what we built up. Which wasn't much."
Some small farmers suffering the soaring prices have begin selling some cows. Others are cutting back on how much or how often they feed them -- But not Ruane.
"When you start doing that and cutting back that energy you're losing body condition on the cows. And once you lose the body condition on the cows, it takes about a year to bring them back if you can."
Ruane is eating the cost. He believes the cost to bring underfed cows back to health, in the long run, is greater.
The price of grain isn't the only problem. Ruane says the cost of milk is really draining business too. He says for every 100 pounds of milk he produces, it costs him 20 dollars. But, it only sells for 16. That means he and his wife are now forced to find new ways to cut back on cost and save where they can.
To put food on their own table, Ruane and his wife are growing and selling crops to neighbors.
Instead of replacing farming equipment, they're repairing their machines themselves.
"We need to keep going with what we have and that's going to be a set back," Ruane said.
They are also toying with the idea of a pick your own pumpkin patch in the fall.
"UVM always preaches to us diversification, diversification but how much diversification can you do? we're looking at it's just the wife and I here," he said.
Ruane is hopeful the price of milk will soon be on the rise because he says so many dairy farmers are cutting back on feed which could lower the milk supply.
"Hopefully we can survive the winter and hopefully everything will come back up. We all say that, but you know how things go."
For now, he's just hoping for health cows that don't drain his savings to the last drop.
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