“Unheard of": drought, dry conditions leading to some culling herd

The dry situations across the country is forcing some North Dakota ranchers to cull their herd. There is little to no grass to graze and feed costs are high.

A livestock auction in Rugby, North Dakota will be selling more than 1,000 cow-calf pairs, which a field representative says is “unheard of.”

Kyle Shively has already culled half of his herd.

“This is a very stressful time and I started mine three, four weeks ago. If you have a neighbor that’s been ranching, check in on him. If it doesn’t bother you to sell half your cow herd, you’re probably not a true rancher. I mean most of us have invested 20, 30, 40 years into building this cow herd. They’re seeing half their cows go just overnight. Many of these guys probably never will get cattle back again,” Shively states.

He says that some farmers may “get by” by the summer, by they will have to buy a lot of hay which will not be cheap.

Farmers are also expressing their concerns on social media, but also letting other farmers know this will pass.

Kevin Kartel tweeted:

“Look the weather is bad, our crops look terrible, lots of us have employees and families we support. Historical drought. I’m stressed, you’re stressed, but it will be okay. The sun will rise again, God will only give you what you can handle. Big weight on North Dakota ag right now.”