Drought Causing Wyoming Cattle Producers to Sell Early
I first heard of this a couple of months ago when I was out at Devils Tower, talking with Wyoming State Senator Ogden Driskill and his brother. They own the property that surrounds Devils Tower. It's a massive cattle ranch.
Northeast Wyoming has been one of the hardest areas in our region hit by this dry season. Ogden told his brother he was thinking of selling most of their cattle early, to cut their losses and for the good of the cattle.
Much of Western and much of northeastern Wyoming is in a drought this summer. Stockgrowers have all been thinking the same thing. Sell early.
"We're hearing of people selling off livestock or shipping some of their livestock earlier than usual to deal with the drought situation," said Magagna. "And unfortunately, in some cases, at least, it means reducing their herds in ways that it could be several years before they're able to fully rebuild them," said Jim Magagna, the executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WPM).
Water is low. The grass has not grown much. Hay production is down and is expensive.
"They have genetics that they've used for many years, sometimes building over generations," said Magagna. "And so they don't necessarily just go out and buy some cows next year, they want to rebuild their herds with their own production. And that takes a couple of years to accomplish." (WPM).
The good news, according to Don Day of Day Weather, trends show that we should be coming out of these dry conditions as we move through 2022.