Hoping for Spring Rains


by Mikkel Pates, Grand Forks Herald

PORT PIERRE, S.D. — Cattle producers throughout the upper Great Plains country are anxious for April moisture, after a winter largely devoid of snow.

Troy Richter and his wife, Dawn, ranch with their family near Quinn, S.D., about 60 miles east of Rapid City. Richter says they’re concerned about getting moisture to green up pastures and grow their hay crop.

“It’s (always) in the back of your mind,” Troy says.

The Richters and their family have a cattle herd of about 350 red and black Angus mother cows and 16 Charolais bulls. Dawn says they’ve been able to graze cattle through the winter, and have been supplemental-feeding cattle at about three-quarters of the normal amount.

“The grass doesn’t have a lot of protein, so we supplement it with ear corn and hay. We’re feeding every day,” she says.

About 110 miles to the east, Willie Cowan, field man with Fort Pierre Livestock for the past 35 years, says it’s been a good winter, but cattle need moisture.

“We’ve had some good weather this winter,” Cowan says. “The cattle have gained good; the cattle look good. Now we need moisture for spring. Us ranchers, we always worry about green grass, and plenty of grass. We have about as much feed in this region as we ever have, and the cheaper corn made a difference to all of us cattle people.”

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Source:  Grand Forks Herald



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