Is Minnesota Starving It’s Cows? June Drought Conditions Worry Farmers
Just like the rest of us, cows are cutting back and working on their summer bodies this year, though not necessarily by choice.
Minnesota has been extremely dry this year, and because of that, pastures are running out of grass, putting cattle farmers in a very difficult position.
Farmers may have to sell cattle early to reduce the size of the herd or wean calves early to lower the amount of energy cows need.
Now, I don't know about you, but I prefer my cows (for lack of a better word) beefy, and I know from personal experience the more I eat the plumper I get. So with the lack of grass, can we expect to see scrawny cows this year? That just doesn't sound right.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 14% of the state's pastures are in good condition, and none were deemed excellent.
At this point, rain could help regrowth a little bit, but so much has been lost with the severe drought that the crop wouldn't truly see much benefit.
A Goodhue Red Angus farmer, Jared Luhman, said he has never experienced anything like this. His father believes the drought has not been this bad since 1988.
Their pasture usually gets 60% of its grass growth in May and June before conditions dry out in July. Luhman explains:
“We are already dry in what is usually the wet season, so we don’t know what that means for the rest of the year.”
We can expect one thing, and that is uncertainty. And maybe skinny cows too?