US ranches rationing cattle feed to survive

15-01-2013 | |
US ranches rationing cattle feed to survive

Ranchers in Nebraska are still feeling the devastating effects of the 2012 drought as it spills into 2013.

According to Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska-Lincoln beef specialist, the challenge now becomes especially clear when corn stalks are no longer available and you start to get to harvest forages and those get expensive.

“It’s a simple case of economics, supply and demand, right now producers need more feed for their cattle and calves and the supply just isn’t there.”

“In most situations even hay production was probably a 50% maybe 66% of the norm so that really makes for some challenges for our cow-calf producers,” said Rasby.

Ranchers are having to make tough choices on their operations like rationing the amount of food to their cattle. Another option is dry-lotting their cows which gives the cows the absolute requirements to stay healthy. But even with some moisture it will take a while for the cows to eat the grass.

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