Climate Change Wiping Out Cattle Feed

The grazing lands of scores of US ranchers have been charred by blazes or ravaged by drought amid a regional shortfall of the alfalfa hay that could stave off starvation, reports Laura Zuckerman at Reuters News. With drought affecting more than half the continental United States and less than a quarter of the nation’s pasture and range rated good to excellent, cattle producers from Montana to Nevada are bracing for a rough season. Recent wildfires in states such as Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming have displaced thousands of cows from federal rangelands which may not be fit for grazing for years. Where range has not been destroyed, drought has lessened forage. The dire situation in the West follows an historic drought in the ranching state of Texas last year that devastated herds and cost the state’s agriculture $7.6 billion, according to Texas A&M university. While some areas of Texas have improved after receiving rain, the dryness has also spread north to the nation’s breadbasket and threatens the worst drought since 1988 in the U.S. corn and soybean growing belt this summer, according to weather experts.

Source:

Ravaged by fires, Western ranchers face ‘scary’ summer. With drought affecting more than half the continental United States and less than a quarter of the nation’s pasture and range rated good to excellent, cattle producers from Montana to Nevada are bracing for a rough season. Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/13/us-usa-wildfires-cattle-idUSBRE86C0Y620120713

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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