Kansas Heat Wave Cows: The ongoing extreme heat and humidity have killed thousands of cattle in Kansas in recent days. The sizzling temperatures have become a continuous threat to the livestock.
The deaths of the livestock have added pain to the U.S. cattle industry as producers have already reduced herds due to drought situations and are also fighting with rising feed costs that have climbed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Global grain supplies have also tightened.
The spokesperson Matthew Lara said that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed the deaths of at least 2,000 cattle as of Tuesday due to high temperatures and humidity. He further added that an agency has been contacted for help in disposing of carcasses.
Kansas is the 3rd largest cattle state in the U.S. after Texas and Nebraska, with a number of cattle of more than 2.4 million in feedlots.
Scarlett Hagins, who is the spokesperson for the Kansas Livestock Association, said that the cattle began to suffer heat stress as temperatures and humidity suddenly spiked over the weekend in western Kansas, and cooling winds almost disappeared. The animals are finding it extremely tough to adapt to these sudden weather changes.
The president of World Weather Inc. Drew Lerner said that temperatures reached 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit) in the northwest part of Kansas by Monday.
As far as this weekend’s weather is concerned, he forecasted that the parts of western Kansas and the Texas panhandle are expected to see a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible that stronger winds and lesser humidity levels might help in minimizing cattle deaths.
For the safety and survival of the cattle, the ranchers are providing them with extra water to keep them hydrated and also keeping a continuous check on their health on daily basis.