By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - Persistent drought conditions in parts of Hawaii are taking a toll on ranchers who can't grow enough grass to feed cattle.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a little more than half of Hawaii is in a drought now, compared with about 21% a year ago.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu says ranchers near the southern point of the Big Island report that pastures are dried out. Dry conditions on Molokai have caused an increase in invasive axis deer and crop damage as they seek water.
Big Island's Ponoholo (poh-no-HOH'-low) Ranch is contending with its eighth year of drought, forcing ranchers to reduce cattle herd by 2,000.