High Temperatures Take a Toll on Fed Cattle. DVM Weighs In

High temperatures are taking a toll on cattle this summer.
High temperatures are taking a toll on cattle this summer.
(Lori Hays)

Tera Barnhardt, DVM, MS, wrote and posted about this natural disaster on Facebook. This is what she shared.

We had a natural disaster in Southwest Kansas on June 11th, 2022 and in the days that followed that greatly affected cattle being fed for slaughter. It wasn’t a tornado or a flood or government conspiracy to dismantle our food supply. There’s no mysterious disease or theory, we know exactly what happened. It’s called a heat index crisis. Prior to this day, our average high temperatures were very mild, the night temperatures were very cool, the wind was normal and we were receiving rain showers that we so desperately needed!

On June 11th, temperatures rose, humidity was high, and wind speed nearly ceased. This is an emergency for cattle. Cattle can not compensate for this type of weather event if they do not get a period of night cooling. For several days this continued. Our people did everything in their power to save as many animals as they could. Our people are amazing and tired and weary. We lost a lot of cattle and we are physically affected by each loss because we know first hand the resources and expertise that goes into raising safe, wholesome and delicious beef for our consumers. 

TeraThis weather event geographically centered in Haskell County and Grant County Kansas. This is cattle feeding country. We are typically subject to a climate that is superior for raising cattle for slaughter. 

There’s a video making rounds with misinformation and I’d like to take the time to connect with you as a feedlot veterinarian from Southwest Kansas, a consumer of the same beef you feed your families, and a person passionately working in production agriculture. If you have concerns or questions, I am happy to connect. I don’t have a video to go viral with because what happened is not entertaining to me, it’s my livelihood and it hurts to see my people dealing with so much loss.



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