From The Montana Stockgrowers Association on this Friday morning:
October 4-7 brought an early season storm to our region of the country. Our neighbors in South Dakota took the brunt of the storm. Estimates reach as high as 70,000 cattle lost in the blizzard. Many relied efforts are in the works, including the Ranch Relief Fund established by South Dakota livestock associations. Many industry and local publications have featured perspectives on the impacts and recovery efforts will continue. Keep an eye on MSGA’s blog and media pages for updates on how you can help
Of course, Haylie Shipp with us here at The Northern Ag Network has been all over this story, but now TheBlaze.com is picking up on the lack of national media attention.
The Blaze: A Record-Setting Blizzard Killed 75,000 Cows and You Might Not Have Even Heard About It
Gary Cammack, who ranches on the prairie near Union Center about 40 miles northeast of the Black Hills, said he lost about 70 cows and some calves, about 15 percent of his herd. A calf would normally sell for $1,000, while a mature cow would bring $1,500 or more, he said.
Early estimates suggest western South Dakota lost at least 5 percent of its cattle, said Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Some individual ranchers reported losses of 20 percent to 50 percent of their livestock, Christen said. The storm killed calves that were due to be sold soon as well as cows that would produce next year’s calves in an area where livestock production is a big part of the economy, she said.
Some ranchers still aren’t sure how many animals they lost, because they haven’t been able to track down all of their cattle. Snowdrifts covered fences, allowing cattle to leave their pastures and drift for miles.
Helping others in need is standard operating procedure here in Montana cattle country. Check out this great story from KSEN Radio in Shelby:
DAKOTA SIMMS, A FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR OF JUSTIN GALLUP NOTED THAT BECAUSE OF JUSTIN’S RECENT INJURY,AND
HE WAS UNABLE TO DRIVE HIS FARM EQUIPTMENT AND WAS FAR BEHIND IN GATHERING AND STACKING THE LARGE ROUND BALES NEEDED TO FEED HIS CATTLE.
THE PLAN TO GET THE JOB DONE UNFOLDED ON SEPT. 28TH. SIX TRACTORS LOADED AND UNLOADED 6 SEMI-TRUCKS AND TRAILERS UNTIL DARK THAT NIGHT. EARLY SUNDAY MORNING THEY WERE BACK AT IT AND BY ABOUT 2 SUNDAY AFTERNOON, APPROXIMATELY 1400 LARGE BALES WERE HAULED AND STACKED.