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Hereford cattle roam the dirt-brown fields of Nathan Carver's ranch, which his family has owned for five generations on the outskirts of Delano, in California's Central Valley, on Monday, Feb. 3.

Normally at this time of the year, the fields would be covered in lush green grass, but the western United States' worst drought in decades has reduced the land to a parched moonscape, leaving the 55-year-old father-of-four praying for rain.

While Carver remembers the tales his grandparents told of the Dust Bowl years in the 1930s, this season is as bad as he has ever seen it in his lifetime, he said.

California rancher Nathan Carver delivers hay to feed his herd of beef cattle on his ranch on the outskirts of Delano, in California's Central Valley, on Feb. 3, 2014.FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP - Getty Images