Page 7 - MWC 09-9-2021s
P. 7

The Midwest Cattleman · September 9, 2021 · P7

       By Katie James
         The nation is experiencing  they’ve seen it, and not many  5 0 0 - t o - 7 0 0
      historic drought that covers  of them went through the  cow calf pairs
      nearly all of the  West and  1930’s but this is as bad as  by every sale
      most of the Northern Plains,  they’ve seen it since then.             that we had
      and one estimate shows that           “Our last decent rains  for  them. And
      32% of all cattle in the U.S.  came in September of 2019.  then we went
      are under drought level con- We  had  11  inches  of  rain,  two             days     a
      ditions.  This drought has  which is very rare in North  week, through
      caused severe disruption  Dakota to get fall rains of  the month of
      for ranchers and will have a  that amount. I think that's  May and into
      lasting impact on  America’s  what got us through last  June and now
      cattle industry, says Drovers  year.  There was quite a lot  back to one                                                         Photo - FJ
      editorial director, Greg Hen- of subsoil moisture, so a lot  day a week
      derson. During Farm Journal  of ranchers got pretty close  since then. Normally this  are moving right now. Next
      Field Days he sat down with  to having a hay crop as com- time of year, we would be  week, we'll probably have
      a  panel  of  experts  to  dis- pared  to normal.  This year,  going every other week and  1,000 new crop calves, which
      cuss the current state of the  it's all gone,” he says. “Hay- hope to get 200 or 300 head  is unheard of, in this part of
      drought, including:                ing that is going on, a lot of  of cattle. We're probably av- the country this time of year.
         •Jason Johnson, Oregon  people are not even cutting  eraging close to 1,000,” he                        Johnson, who’s located in
      Feedlot Operator                   it. But if they are cutting it  notes. “Every other sale will  Oregon notes that his part of
         •John Nalivka, Sterling  at all, they're talking about  get 1,500 or 2,000 head. But  the country is in trouble as
      Marketing                          one bale per acre, some were  we're selling many, many  well.
         •Larry Schnell, Stock- talking about acres per bale.”  more cows than normal. And                       “If we don’t receive signifi-
      man’s Livestock Exchange,             It’s also caused more sales  the only reason we aren't  cant moisture this winter, we
      Dickinson, North Dakota            of cow-calf pairs, much earli- even selling more is because  will be in real trouble. Many
         •Niels Hansen, Rancher  er than usual. Schnell notes  these ranchers are trying to  of the smaller operators are
      and Public Lands Council.          that they started selling  hold  on until the  calves get  suffering with the rising cost
         The  situation is so dire,  higher numbers of cattle in  big enough to where they  of commodities such as grain
      Schnell says, that in North  March, and then in May the  can either wean them or sell  and hay. We just see a total
      Dakota ranchers have been  pairs started to come in.                  them. But even there, they're
      telling him it’s the worst            “We're selling at least  even some of those that                                continued on page 12

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