GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Some ranchers in western Kansas continue to deal with the loss of cattle after last month’s snow storm, but weight loss among surviving cattle is also hitting ranchers hard.
“We didn’t think things we going to be too bad, and then Sunday morning we woke up, and it was a full-blown blizzard,” said Lee Reeve, rancher. “You know it had kind of a devastating effect short-term, because all the cattle lost some weight. We had a little bit of death loss.”
Reeve says insurance can help cover the loss of dead cattle, but the real issue is the weight cattle lost in the snow.
Because the storm happened in the spring after a mild winter, the cattle’s hair had thinned, making the problem worse.
“If you’re trying to survive in 50 mile an hour winds was blowing snow,” he said, “it was just tough on them.”
Reeve says each head of his 40,000 cattle lost about 30 pounds.
At the current hundredweight, that’s a loss of roughly $1.7 million.
“We don’t like to think of it that way because it’s just part of doing business,” he said.
Instead, he chooses to look forward
“The weight that’s gone is gone. Now, some of the newer cattle will have several months here. They’ll gain that weight back.”
He hopes supply and demand will help stabilize the losses.
“All the cattle have lost weight, so the market has rebounded somewhat to cover part of that loss, so it’s not quite as devastating as it might sound on the surface,” he said. “We just move on, just like we always do.”