June 17, 2022
At least 2,000 cattle in Kansas, US, killed because of extreme heat and humidity
The health department of Kansas state, US said at least 2,000 cattle have been killed due to extreme heat and humidity in the past few days, as the hot temperatures threaten livestock, CNBC reported.
The deaths add to the industry's woes, which have already seen producers reduce herds due to drought and grapple with rising feed costs as Russia's invasion of Ukraine tightened global grain supplies.
Matthew Lara, a spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said they had received reports of at least 2,000 cattle deaths as a result of the high temperatures and humidity. The figure represents the number of facilities that contacted the agency for assistance in disposing of carcasses.
With over 2.4 million cattle in feedlots, Kansas is the third largest cattle state in the US, behind Texas and Nebraska.
Scarlett Hagins, a spokesperson for the Kansas Livestock Association, said temperatures and humidity in western Kansas spiked over the weekend, and cooling winds vanished, causing heat stress in cattle.
She claimed that the animals were unable to adjust to the abrupt change.
AJ Tarpoff, a Kansas State University beef extension veterinarian, said this was essentially a perfect storm.
Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc, said temperatures in northwest Kansas reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) by Monday. Parts of western Kansas and the Texas panhandle will see temperatures near 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) this weekend, but stronger winds and lower humidity levels will help cattle deaths be minimised.
Lerner said for the animals, it'll be oppressively hot and stressful.
Ranchers are providing extra water to cattle and monitoring their health in order to survive.
Brenda Masek, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen's Association said when the weather gets hot, farmers have to be out there every day making sure their cattle's water is maintained.