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Ranchers and cattle are feeling the heat

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With temperatures continuing to spike into the 100s this week, ranchers are worried about their livestock.

Perry Moser has owned Moser Simmental Ranch in Baldwin since 1984, and says this year’s drought compares closely to the drought of 1988.

“These cattle don’t do as well, especially the calves, in this heat. So, we’re going to give up some pounds,” said Moser.

Moser said in years as dry as this one, it moves up the timeline for his cattle.

“Usually we run our cows into December on fall grazing or corn stocks. My goal this year is to make it to November 1st, and I don’t think we’re going to do that before we have to bring the cows home,” said Moser.

Feed supplies are low too.

“Our hay is less than half the crop. I went up last night and baled 35 acres of oats and got 38 bales off of it. That’s a little over a bale an acre, and generally, we get four to five bales an acre,” said Moser.

In addition to feeding problems, Moser said he plans to wean calves in mid-August, about a month earlier than usual.

“We could possibly have lighter calves, we could possibly, between the shortage of grass and the heat, we could have more open cows, which is not a good deal,” said Moser.

Like many farmers and ranchers, Moser’s wish remains the same: for rain, even just a little bit.

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