Tuesday afternoon The Rancher and I headed to check more cattle. These cattle are in pastures with big canyons. We took a 4-wheeler ride checking the canyons and found our cattle were home and fine. We were pleasantly surprised to see them look as good as they did. We think if we lost any livestock it is minimal. Our pairs were spread out grazing the bared off hill tops.
The snow continues to melt, the dams are full and there is water running everywhere.
Wednesday night we got our power back on! Face Book updates from our local Electric Cooperative reported that 3,100 poles down in our county. They are down to less than 1,000 members without power and more crews are coming to assist today. Earlier this week the coop brought in help and have nearly 100 crew members. We appreciate all the hard work the Electric Cooperative Employees and linemen are doing to restore our area with electricity
The death loss in western South Dakota is massive; cattle, sheep and horses. We have heard a lot of cow death. The cows do not have their winter hair coat and were severely stressed from hypothermia due to rain, cold and snow. Cattle drifted in the storm, some turned around and tried to get home. They ran out of energy and collapsed. Due to the adequate fall rains our grass is green. People are speculating that some cattle are dying of grass tetany.
Many hearts are breaking as it is hard when a rancher looses livestock. Our life’s work is caring for, feeding and protecting our animals. One natural disaster can wipe out a lifetime of the blood, sweat and tears we have put into our business. When cattle die the genetics we have worked hard to achieve are lost too. In some cases 3 generations of genetics vanish; cow, calf at her side, and the pregnancy she is bred with.
The below pictures were taken on Monday and Tuesday when J and I went to check cattle.
Major storms cause a lot of extra work for ranchers. In addition to caring for livestock, there will be quite a bit of fence to mend and rebuild. Frozen waterers will need fixed, equipment maintenance increases with snow removal and general issues caused by extended power outages and flooding. There was also a great deal of damage done to trees that will need attention.
This storm is also affecting farmers. Winter wheat planting is winding down, but not complete. There are producers that have corn to chop or combine and sunflower harvest has not started yet. It will be a while before fields are dry enough to harvest. In addition, the countryside is dotted with a lot of round hay bales that have not been hauled home.
Our next challenge is coming as another weather system moving in tonight. The Weatherman is telling there will be significant rain fall (1-2 inches) and sustained winds of 30-45 mph with gusts over 60 mph. Monday or Tuesday they are warning us about another storm front headed to this area; a cold mix of moisture.
1. Dam in our Bull Pasture.
2. Looking North down our driveway.
3. Trees in our yard east of the house and looking south.
4. Dam front where the home bunch of pairs weathered out the storm.
5. Waves in the snow due to 60 mph winds.
6. Gates going into our cattle sorting pens.
Thank You for your continued thoughts, prayers and support.