Thousands of Cattle Reported Dead
Heat Stress Kills Estimated 10,000 Head of Kansas Feedlot Cattle
By Victoria G Myers, Progressive Farmer/DTN
The current heat wave blazing through Kansas feedlots has killed an estimated 10,000 head of fat cattle.
Final death numbers continue to come in, but that early estimate was shared with DTN by livestock experts, who put the geographical center point for those deaths at Ulysses, Kansas.
DTN calls to feedlots in the area and to ranchers whose branded animals were seen in some privately shared photos of dead cattle were not immediately returned.
What is known is that leading up to these heartbreaking losses, temperatures in the area were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, there was humidity, and there was little to no wind to help cool the animals. Temperature readings reported for Ulysses began to exceed the 100-degree mark on June 11. By June 13, the high temperature was reported at 104 degrees, with humidity levels ranging from 18% to 35%. Temperature and humidity levels began to break some on June 14. Just a few days prior to the heat setting in, highs had been in the 80s.
Corbitt Wall, a cattle analyst with National Beef Wire who works out of Amarillo, Texas, told DTN he heard from two non-media sources about the extent of the Kansas losses. He noted there was frustration that despite such extensive losses, the futures market fell Monday.
"I know it's hard for people in the business to watch that futures market, but it's not real," he said. "The only time those traders and speculators make money on futures is when the market is volatile, and they are watching these algorithms to tell them where the market is going. For people following the fundamentals, it is frustrating."
NIGHTTIME COOLING IS KEY ...
HEAT STRESS PREVENTION ...