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The “historic flooding” in Nebraska has left cattle stranded without food on unrecognizable farmland.
At one fifth-generation family farm, the flood water has overtaken the land so that “you can barely tell there was ever farm land there to begin with,” the Nebraska National Guard tweeted.
A photo taken from the sky shows cattle on “islands” of the farm, surrounded by water.
There are thousands of cows isolated and without anything to eat, FOX42 reported.
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So, with no way to get hay to the cattle by land, Nebraska National Guard soldiers helped load 10 round bales of hay into a CH-47 Chinook helicopter before taking flight above the farm, the station said.
Once above some of the isolated farmland, soldiers pushed the huge bales of hay off the helicopter and down toward the ground, video shows. They did that several times over different “islands” of land.
Two of the soldiers gave each other a high-five after pushing a bale of hay down. Round bales can weigh between 450 and 1,700 pounds, according to Dairy Herd Management.
“The Nebraska National Guard has been supporting the ongoing response in Eastern Nebraska following massive flooding on the state’s river systems which began March 13, 2019 and has caused catastrophic damage to the state’s infrastructure, agriculture and personal property,” according to its statement.
This was the first time the state’s Guard has done an aerial hay drop since a 1949 blizzard, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Food for livestock is the “No. 1 need” for farmers and ranchers, the newspaper reported, as some hay has already washed away, and other hay is expected to rot.
If you would like to donate hay, call the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at 800-831-0550, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star.