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Drought affects cow-patty quantity, quality

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Organizers of the annual Wisconsin Cow-Chip Throwing Contest say the summer's drought resulted in a lack of dried cow manure for the contest. They were only able to scrape up about 100 chips but normally need about 300 for the contest.

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They'll have to dip into a reserve of about 200 chips for this year's festival Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in Prairie du Sac. The chips are about the size of a table tennis paddle, and they come from a local herd of beef cattle that eats grass and produces dense, strong chips.

Contest workers normally shovel the manure in July then let it dry and flatten in the sun. That operation was scrapped this year because of the poor quality of the manure resulting from the drought.

The winners will advance to the national cow-chip throwing contest in Beaver Okla. and they get $200 toward the cost of their trips. The men's record in the Wisconsin competition is 248 feet, set in 1991. The women's record is 157.5 feet, set four years ago.

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