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      Starr County ranchers welcome rains from 'Arlene'

      The stalls at R.Y. Livestock in Rio Grande City are all but empty.

      The pastures are greener and there is a good future for the cattle industry because of this rain and there is more in the forecast, Sam Rodriguez, owner of R.Y. Livestock, said.

      Rodriguez said when the drought was at its peak---he had over 1,000 head of cattle com through the doors.

      He said he watched as men he has known for years sold their source of income because they could not continue to feed their large herds.

      They had to face reality"and selling was the only way to go because of no feed, rain, and the cost of fuel was very expensive, Rodriguez said.

      But since the rain clouds rolled in"Rodriguez said the head of cattle coming into his sale barn have slowed down.

      Three weeks ago, before the rain hit, we were almost at 1,000 head---after the rain it came down to around a third of what we sold the previous week, Rodriguez said.

      Despite the rain and greener pastures"Ranchers will now have to start the daunting task of rebuilding what they sold off in previous months.

      Rodriguez said replacing that cattle will not come easy because there will not be much cattle for sale.