Cattle ranchers in the Great Plains have been struck with another heavy blow after a weekend blizzard left countless cattle dead and thousands struggling to feed in Oklahoma and Kansas. This setback comes two months after the March wildfires tore through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Cattle producers in Cimarron County, Ok. Are counting their losses while looking for surviving cattle that were lost in the weekend blizzard.
AgDay talked with Clay Crabtree, a farmer from Boise City, Ok. He believes roughly 150 of his cattle died from exposure to the snow storm and muddy conditions, and 120 more are missing.
Crabtree’s herd of 360 head were grazing on a wheat circle. Some found shelter behind a windbreak, but it wasn’t enough protection for the conditions that were moving eastward. Some of the livestock strayed five to eight miles away in the blinding snow.
According to Crabtree, the land was already saturated before the storm, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the cattle to seek shelter.
The same massive system that hit the Oklahoma Panhandle also dumped heavy snow in western Kansas and parts of Nebraska.
According to our partners at Drovers, feedyards on the High Plains are struggling to recover. There are no exact numbers at this point, but Drovers says the cattle losses could reach into the thousands.
As much as 75 percent of the U.S. cattle on feed were impacted by the storm.