Drought intensifies and is now causing health concerns for cattle

The latest drought monitor was released today and it shows the western U.S. received some much needed moisture.

A powerful spring storm delivered significant late season snow from the Cascades and Sierra Nevada to the northern Plains.

However, the central and southern Plains as well as the southwest were not as lucky, with windy dry conditions continuing, which contributed to the rapid spread of several wildfires.

A regular guest on the Market Day Report, Tony St. James, from All Ag All Day says the dry conditions in Texas are setting even more records.

“The guys I’m talking to, and I’ve talked to a wide variety of producers, most of them agree that this could be the driest we’ve been in an April in 50 years or more.”

Tony St. James did acknowledge producers in his area were in the same boat last year at this time and received a lot of moisture in May.

Concerns over dust pneumonia are rising as the drought plagues the Plains. That is according to the Director of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Rosslyn Biggs says the best way to deal with the respiratory condition is to keep it from happening in the first place.

“We want to have good vaccination plans, good herd health plans well in advance. We want to have our cows vaccinated ideally before we even breed, and we want to have vaccination plans for our calves.”

Dr. Biggs says it is important to have those measures in place and control the environmental conditions as best as you can to keep stresses to a minimum.


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