Farmers monitor livestock and low hay supply during extreme heat

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Livestock farmers are feeling the impact due to weather conditions.

At the Kendrick Farm in northeast, Missouri they raise cattle and right now they are eating grass and while they have hay saved up for dry conditions and the winter, it is a fraction of what it should be right now.

Marion County Farm Bureau President Joe Kendrick said the wet winter and spring means they have not been able to bale as much hay as they normally would have by this time of year.
That combined with the dry weather could hurt them this winter after what was already a rough winter last year.

“Hay got really short. There was a lot of hay brought into the area from 50 miles plus for instance and it was expensive and there were people who did not opt to do that and had to sell cows,” Kendrick added.

He hopes the rain will help the grass grow, so they can build up their hay stockpile before winter.

Kendrick said the hot weather means farmers have to monitor their herd more, to make sure they are drinking water, have plenty of shade, and check for insects on the cows.
“It just adds a little extra challenge every day so that the water is working and those kind of things,” Kendirck said. “Just stay on top of it and you really need to just pay attention to all of it while they are in the heat.”
Kendrick says the show calves are also getting extra attention because they are attending county fairs across the region.
His family has been putting them in well-ventilated barns, trailers or other enclosures so they don’t overheat.
Here’s some more tips when dealing with livestock in the heat:
  • Avoid transporting animals in heat over 80F with high humidity.
  • Park vehicles loaded with livestock in the shade.
  • Deliver animals at night or in early morning, and use wet bedding to transport hogs in hot weather.
  • Provide fresh drinking water at all times, and provide shade in resting, eating, and watering areas.
  • Use a water sprinkling system to cool animals.
Drew Brown

Drew Brown

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