Drought has prompted some farmers and ranchers to start selling livestock


HAMILL, SD (KELO) – Drought has dried up pastures and reduced hay production. This causes farmers and ranchers to make tough decisions.

Audie Larson and her family all play a role in running the Larson Family Ranch near Hamill.

It’s a fifth-generation ranch, but with the recent hot and dry conditions, Larson says they’ll be selling cattle soon.

“We have pairs of two-year-old heifers, they’re going to go to town next week, it’s so dry we’re going to start selling a few, try to hang on to the main core of our registered herd of cows from this. way. Larson Family Ranch, said Audie Larson.

At Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, co-owner Bryan Hanson says normally this time of year is a bit slower, but this isn’t the case this year.

“Due to the drought conditions not only in South Dakota, but also in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota, the drought has spread quite widely throughout the Midwest, and I guess for that reason you see cattle moving when you normally wouldn’t, ”said Bryan Hanson, co-owner of Fort Pierre Livestock.

This pen is full of cow-calf pairs, which is not normal at this time of year.

“It’s the middle of the breeding season, it’s just not when you see cattle moving, usually they keep those cattle until anywhere from September to November or whatever their schedule is. “said Hanson.

He says the amount of herds of people that will be sold could depend on whether we get moisture soon.

“What these guys did was they chose to take a certain amount of the herd to reduce the number, so they could keep the rest of the herd all the time, if not if they had to keep everything. , by the time they have used up all of their forage and feed, they may be forced to sell the whole herd at a later date, ”said Hanson.

“We’re just going to start as the summer goes on, if we have to sell more, we’ll just keep sorting,” Larson said.

Larson says the locusts have wreaked havoc on the grass. They’ve sprayed twice this year already and say they’re going to have to spray a third time. He adds that most of their hay production is around 15% of normal.

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