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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Early October Blizzard

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10-08-2013 06:16:14

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I am in the area that has had the terrible cattle deaths. I have heard that there may be up to 100,000 dead cattle. We got extremely lucky and did not lose any. Some producers death numbers are in the hundreds. One rancher had 400 bred heifers. 300 of them ended up dying in a stock dam. Stories like this are very common in western South Dakota after this last storm. Most of the ranchers will just dust themselves off and get back to work though. Not many will probably wait for the government to come and help them out. Most will help themselves and their neighbors and get their lives back to as normal as possible.

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10-08-2013 13:18:11

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 Re: Early October Blizzard in reply to c-man, 10-08-2013 06:16:14  
Are distances that far that a few livestock shelters scattered around the pastures could not have saved enough of those cattle to pay for the shelters?

I realize that compared to older stock cows, steers and heifers are pretty dumb, so they can't anticipate a storm at the start or to head for home until after it's too late. Even in a milder climate like Minnesota and Iowa, providing winter shelter for the entire herd is a basic neccesity to keep feeders gaining weight efficiently and profitably.

Was the storm so early that those cattle were not moved to their winter ranges yet?

I live in a different climate, so i'm just asking.

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10-09-2013 05:52:38

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 Re: Early October Blizzard in reply to ss55, 10-08-2013 13:18:11  
Yes, most of the cattle were still on summer grazing, which has, in almost every case, no shelter. It was a "once in a lifetime", (we hope) early October blizzard. Was in the upper 80's only a few days before it hit. Many factors contributed to the disaster.

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