In this file:
· Veterinarian who worked to save Kansas livestock speaks out
· A.J. Tarpoff Provides Medical Explanation for Cattle Deaths in Kansas
Veterinarian who worked to save Kansas livestock speaks out
by: Hannah Adamson, KSN (KS)
Jun 18, 2022
HASKELL COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), extreme weather is to blame for the deaths of thousands of cows in Southwest Kansas over the weekend.
Dr. Miles Theurer, a veterinarian, works with 16 feed lots in Kansas, 10 of which were impacted by those extreme conditions.
Dr. Theurer says that in his six-year career in the feed yard industry, he has never seen conditions like this that led to what he calls the perfect storm.
“I hope I never have to see anything like it again,” Dr. Theurer said. “Being out there with the crews, it’s very demoralizing.”
For several feed lots in Haskell County, crews worked nonstop to provide extra water tanks and bedding for livestock, prioritizing pens in need of the most care.
“The sad part was that most of these cattle were nearing the end point of near harvest,” Dr. Theurer said.
The KDHE says at least 2,000 head of cattle were lost across the region, an estimated $4 million loss.
“Our normal death losses, on a typical, you know, month basis, we would be in that one to one-and-a-half percent range … we’re well above those numbers,” Justin Waggoner, a beef cattle specialist with Kansas State University Extension, said...
more, including video report [2:00 min.]
A.J. Tarpoff Provides Medical Explanation for Cattle Deaths in Kansas
Oklahoma Farm Report
17 Jun 2022
After the strange heat event in southwestern Kansas this last weekend killing thousands of feedlot cattle, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, visits with Kansas State University extension beef veterinarian, Dr. A.J. Tarpoff, to give his expertise on how unusual weather conditions can impact cattle health.
“This weekend, we had a two-day stretch of pretty extreme conditions for our cattle,” Tarpoff said. “What happened essentially was a number of things.”
For starters, Tarpoff said there was a temperature spike, which is normal for Kansas, and the robust cattle in the area can tolerate high temperatures. But the temperature, Tarpoff said, was only part of the story.
Tarpoff said cattle can be impacted by heat stress because of temperature, humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation.
“Beginning Saturday and continuing through Sunday, even in the evening hours, we had a spike in humidity, which is quite rare for western Kansas, which has a pretty arid environment,” Tarpoff said. “Most importantly, the winds died down, so all of a sudden we had a situation of high temperature and humidity with no wild speed, which seldom happens in western Kansas.”
It was almost a perfect storm of a multitude of different factors, Tarpoff said, that led to a pretty severe issue.
“We have some monitoring tools through the Kansas Mesonet that showed some pretty extreme animal comfort indices beginning Saturday through Sunday with really minimal nighttime cooling hours,” Tarpoff said.
Tarpoff said nighttime cooling for cattle is essential for tolerating heat stress. Cattle need at least six hours in cool temperatures to release any heat they accumulated during the day. Unfortunately, he added, they didn't have the opportunity to do so.
When facing heat stress, Tarpoff said body condition plays a role as well.
“Not all cattle are affected the same way due to heat stress,” Tarpoff said. “Condition is a big factor, however, so is haircoat.”
Because of the mild spring in southwestern Kansas, Tarpoff said cattle did not get the opportunity to acclimate to some of these summer conditions.
“Cattle can acclimate to just about any environment on planet Earth when given the proper time,” Tarpoff said. “We may have still had some animals with a little bit longer hair coat that may have not completely shed off from the winter months just because it hasn't been that stressful. Their bodies hadn't told them to do that yet.”
If cattle had previously fought with bovine respiratory disease, Tarpoff said they will have scarring in their lungs which would have made them more at risk during this unusual weather event...