Thousands of Kansas cattle die due to heat stress


A heat wave has been impacting much of the country this week, and in some parts, they will not see any relief soon. The weather is impacting livestock and crop producers alike. In Kansas, there are reports of thousands of cattle dying due to heat stress.

Kansas is the third-largest cattle-producing state. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported that 2,000 deaths occurred near Ulysses on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Other reports claim that cattle deaths across the state reached 10,000. That number is only from facilities that contacted the department to help with carcass disposal.

According to one expert, a combination of factors led to this horrific outcome. Scarlette Hagins with the Kansas Livestock Association says that humidity and rapid temperature increase could be to blame. Another compounding factor is that the cattle were at “market-ready weight,” which would make it harder for them to handle the extreme conditions.

Hagins told KAKE, “If you add all of those things together in such a short amount of time, it led to cattle suffering from heat stress in that area of the state.” She goes on to add, “It’s a significant impact. Of course, these cattle would be around, have a value of around $2,000 per head, as their market-ready animals. Any kind of animal loss is significant to a producer, to cattle feeder, to a rancher. No one wants to see any kind of loss like this.”

Parts of Kansas saw temperatures above 100 degrees on Monday and western parts will see temperatures near 110 degrees come this weekend. Thankfully, strong winds and lower humidity will help with stress levels.


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Story via Eli Higgins with KAKE