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Cattle lounge in pens at a feedlot near Lubbock, Texas on Dec. 16, 2013, at the height of the state's recent years of drought. (AP Photo/Betsy Blaney)

(Bloomberg) — In the heart of U.S. cattle country, a four-year drought got so bad that Jim Sartwelle’s east Texas ranches looked more like dirt parking lots than pastures. At one point, to keep the animals fed, he bought two truckloads of grass cut from the side of a road in Louisiana, about 200 miles away.

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