Since the snow let up from a record storm in western South Dakota, Bill Kluck of Mud Butte has been looking for surviving animals from his 350 cow/calf pairs.
“I’ve discovered close to 100 head dead,” Kluck told Brownfield Ag News while on horse-back, sorting his cattle from the neighbor’s cattle in one of the summer pastures.
To hear it from the 61-year-old rancher, Kluck’s losses were about on par with his fellow cattlemen in Meade County, South Dakota.
“Some [losses] were a little worse and some a little less, but that’s kind of the way it’s working out,” said Kluck, comparing his death loss with that of other ranchers. “It’s running probably, county wide, I’m saying it’s probably 15-20 percent.”
And Kluck isn’t alone. Out of 450 bred heifers owned by his neighbor, Kluck reports 150 head didn’t survive the storm. Although the storm was devastating, by Wednesday Kluck says the situation was starting to look better for his surviving animals.
“Well, you know, most of the cattle that came through it alright, we’ve had two warm days and we’ve got plenty of good grass; this year was a good grass year, and they’re out grazing and they’re doing fine,” he said.
Rebuilding his herd will take some time and Kluck said he intends to start by keeping 50 bred heifers that he had planned to sell.
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