Dry spring lingers into summer for Minnesota cattle rancher

A cattle rancher in northern Minnesota says a dry spring has continued into the summer.

“Which is not so good for growing pastures and getting a decent hay crop.”

Miles Kuschel of Sebeka tells Brownfield it’s been three weeks since the last measurable rainfall, and it shows.

“We got first crop (hay) done. It was about half of what it usually is, even some spots were about a third of normal. It started to come back good, but (now) it’s burning off with these warmer temps.”

Kuschel is seeing signs of heat stress in his cattle too.

“Grouping up in the shade (is) probably one of your first tell-tale signs. Hanging out by a watering hole or by the water is another one. But when you start seeing clinical signs (like) keeping their heads low, panting, their tongue hanging out, then you definitely need to get them to a cooler area as quick as possible.”

He says unseasonably warm overnight temps can cause problems for both beef and dairy cattle too because the animals lower core body temperature during the night.

Kuschel is a board director for Minnesota Farm Bureau.

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